by E. Hartman Reckord
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Mexican Ambassador to Jamaica, Gerardo Lozano, says his government is seeking to enhance cooperation with Jamaica in areas of education and culture.
The ambassador was speaking in a recent interview where he reaffirmed his government's commitment to supporting projects and programmes for Jamaica's development.
"As Mexico has some experience in the preservation of historical sites, we are exploring to share experience on the (development) of downtown Mexico and to see how the experience of Mexico can be useful on the effort that the government of Jamaica is doing for the (redevelopment) of downtown (Kingston)," he said.
He praised the initiative to redevelop the capital city, noting that this will redound to be benefit of Jamaica and its people.
Already, Mexico is offering expertise through two important projects being undertaken in agriculture and the energy sector.
In the area of agriculture, the Mexican government is partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) to combat the lethal yellowing disease, which is affecting the coconut industry. The 18-month project, which got underway in June, involves the exchange of technical knowledge, including providing expertise on the development of a disease-resistant plant.
The countries are also collaborating in the energy sector through the Technical and Scientific Cooperation Programme between Petrojam and the state-owned refinery of Mexico, Petrỏleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The programme, which began in 2008, emerged from the 7th Meeting of the Mexico Jamaica Bi-National Commission in 2007.
It facilitates the exchange of key personnel at Petrojam and PEMEX to share knowledge and best practices on specific areas of refinery operations such as energy efficiency and oil loss management; catalytic processes; process corrosion control; refining operations best practices; and biofuels.
The Mexican ambassador, whose tour of duty started in March, said he will be working to achieve a greater bond between Mexico and the wider Caribbean, as the countries share "many aspects, historical, cultural and geographical similarities as well as goals and challenges."
He noted that next year, Mexico will be celebrating its 50th year of bilateral relations with Jamaica.
"I am happy to say that during this period of time, we have put into practise, several technical, scientific, cultural and educational projects that, as part of the bilateral relations, allow us to share experience and to benefit from the relations of our countries," he stated.
The ambassador invited Jamaicans to view the photographic exhibition titled: ‘Mexico, Country of Colours', at the Institute of Jamaica in downtown Kingston, to learn more about Mexico and its ties with Jamaica. The exhibition, which opened last month to mark the country's 50th anniversary of Independence, will run until September 30.
Meanwhile, as Mexico celebrated its 202nd anniversary of Independence on Saturday, the Embassy will be hosting a number of activities in Jamaica to mark the milestone.
Mexico gained Independence from Spain on September 15, 1810.