Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw (left), in discussion with Ambassador Designate to the United Mexican States, H. E. Sharon Saunders (right); and Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn, during a courtesy call at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Thursday, January 28, 2021.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, has signalled his commitment to explore the possibilities of pursuing more cooperation with the Government of Mexico in areas such as knowledge transfer, and in particular, technological assistance.
The Minister exchanged ideas on the matter with Her Excellency Sharon Saunders, Ambassador-Designate to Mexico, during a courtesy call at his Ministry’s New Kingston Offices on Thursday, January 28, 2021.
Mr. Shaw informed that Jamaica and Mexico have enjoyed long-standing trade relations and bilateral cooperation, but noted the negative trade balance which Mexico averaged US$160,282,330.00 over the period 2017-2019.
“Jamaica is interested in exploring avenues for improving the trade balance between our countries, as the global pandemic allows. We have to look at how we are going to further improve on our relationship,” Minister Shaw said.
In addition to bilateral trade, the Minister and the Ambassador also exchanged thoughts and ideas on a number of other issues, including greater involvement and investment from Mexico, adding further that over the past five years, Jamaica has received significant Foreign Direct Investments from Mexico in the Tourism and Mining sectors.
State Minister in the Ministry, Dr. Hon. Norman Dunn in commending the Ambassador on her posting to Mexico expressed the expectation that with her new assignment to Mexico, Jamaica is looking forward to deepened relations between both countries. “This can only augur well for Jamaica,” he added.
For her part, Ambassador Saunders indicated that she welcomed the opportunity to serve her country in the new capacity, and asked that the Industry Ministry explore “an agreed process for cooperation and support” on trade between Jamaica and Mexico. To this end, the Ministry is to have further discussions with the Ambassador.
She noted that there were other areas of great potential in a number of industries, a part from coffee and rum. However, the Ambassador was keen on making the point that the enhanced cooperation between the two countries would have to be based on complementarity and not competition.
“It is therefore important to get an appreciation of Mexico’s insight into the potential opportunity to generate linkages between Jamaica and Mexico,” Ambassador Saunders said.
Ambassador Saunders is a career diplomat, serving for over thirty-eight years in the Foreign Service. She is presently the Under-Secretary with responsibility for the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
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