Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Jamaica, Mexico forging stronger bonds

Published:Wednesday | September 14, 2016 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This year is a signal year in the bilateral relations of Jamaica and Mexico, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, which took place just four years after Jamaica became an independent nation.

Jamaica and Mexico are inextricably linked by geography, history, and culture and by a common resolve towards promoting sustainable development in our respective countries. Since 1966, our ties of friendship and cooperation have blossomed, characterised by a high degree of interaction at varying levels. These ties have been nurtured by high-level visits on both sides, the most recent taking place in May this year, when I paid my first official visit to Mexico, which coincided with the Eighth Meeting of the Jamaica/Mexico Bi-national Commission.

Emanating from this encounter was the agreement on a cooperation programme for the next two years, in areas including science and technology, education, agriculture, the environment, energy, human resource development, language training, culture and sports. Jamaica is particularly pleased at the increase in the level of Mexican interest and investment in Jamaica and together with Mexico, has committed to the strengthening of business relations through the promotion of trade and investment.

The Government of Jamaica values highly the consistent assistance and support extended by the Government of Mexico over the years in priority areas, complementing its own efforts in this regard.

Throughout this period of engagement, we have recognised the affinity between both countries, fully aware that the experiences and achievements recorded present great opportunities for enhanced levels of cooperation.

In addition, Jamaica and Mexico are united through our commitment to international peace and security and the guiding principles of the United Nations, as well as our common participation in the CARICOM-Mexico Joint Commission, the Association of Caribbean States, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of American States, among others. Such collaboration has facilitated joint responses to important political, social and economic challenges facing our region.

As we continue our commemorative activities, and against the backdrop of a global environment that is both challenging and replete with untapped opportunities, I am optimistic that Jamaica and Mexico will continue to achieve even higher levels of understanding, cooperation and friendship in the years ahead, towards the greater benefit of our peoples.

I reiterate my great sense of satisfaction on our achieving this significant milestone.

KAMINA JOHNSON-SMITH

Minister of Foreign Affairs

and Foreign Trade