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Jamaica, Mexico agreement to benefit petroleum industry

BY DEANDRA MORRISON
Online reporter
morrsiond@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, March 08, 2018

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THE Government on Tuesday signed an agreement with Mexico for that country to provide the Jamaican petroleum industry with training opportunities and technical services.

The agreement came after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade wrapped up bilateral talks with Mexican officials that had been ongoing since Monday.

“We're signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mexican Petroleum Institute and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), to focus on a very specific area, such as oil refining and the transfer of state-of-the-art technologies to make Jamaica's energy supply more flexible,” Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso said during a press briefing at Jamaica House on Tuesday.

The agreement was later signed between group general manager of PCJ Winston Watson and director general of the Mexican Petroleum Institute Dr Ernesto Rios Patrón.

The Mexican Foreign Secretary noted that Mexico's expertise would aid in transforming Jamaica's petroleum sector into a more reliable and more secure source of energy for the country.

“Under the leadership of Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto, the energy sector has been completely transformed from a public sector monopoly model to a very open model, [which is] market-based and open to investment from anywhere. That has been very successfully and rapidly implemented,” said Videgaray.

He added that Mexico would be exploring more areas of opportunities to work with Jamaica.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith welcomed the signing of the MoU, which she said would “provide training and technical services to Jamaica's petroleum industry.

“Over the past year, we have experienced increased enthusiasm and confidence in the Jamaica-Mexico relationship,” Johnson Smith said.

“This visit to Jamaica and the extensive consultations that ensued [Tuesday] morning, both with the prime minister and my ministry team, have highlighted the value of our bilateral relationship and served to strengthen our partnership resolve,” she said

According to Johnson Smith, they discussed bilateral cooperation projects in agriculture, education, technology, culture, and the energy sector, climate change and also recent political developments in the region.

Videgaray also said that both governments have agreed to facilitate more Mexican teachers in Jamaica to teach Spanish and more Jamaican teachers in Mexico to teach English.

Johnson Smith added that both the Jamaican and Mexican governments have agreed to work together to strengthen “bilateral cooperation framework, deepen trade and investment ties, as well as promote a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Latin America and Caribbean region”.

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