February 14, 2014
Mexican Minister visits SVG

Mexico’s External Relations Minister His Excellency Dr Jose Antonio Meade arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines on February 7, on an official visit.{{more}}

The External Relations Minister was wrapping up a tour of the islands which were affected by the Christmas Eve floods. On February 6, he visited Dominica then moved on to St Lucia on February 7.

On Friday, February 7, Dr Meade held private talks with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, following which the media were briefed on the outcome of the talks.

Dr Gonsalves said this country had excellent relations with Mexico, which were further deepened when his Government assumed office.

He said he met Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Havana, Cuba, while attending the meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean states (CELAC). He said President Nieto expressed solidarity with the countries affected by the Christmas floods and demonstrated this by sending the External Relations Minister to tour the affected islands.

Dr Gonsalves also announced that he would be attending the CARICOM/Mexico Summit and the meeting of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Yucatan Mexico in April of this year. Dr Gonsalves, who is also Chair of CARICOM, said the Association of Caribbean States was a very important vehicle for Caribbean integration beyond the CARICOM borders.

He explained that the Association of Caribbean States consisted of countries “washed” by the Caribbean Sea and focused on trade, transport (air and sea), technology including information technology, tourism and climate change. The PM said Mexico developed a very good “people to people” relationship through the young students who go there to study.

He also noted the assistance Mexico had given with the preparation of the 30-year master plan for the development of the Argyle international airport over that period, adding that it was his hope that Mexico continues as a strategic partner in the operation and management of the airport.

PM Gonsalves said under the new President, Mexico had shown interest in strengthening relations not only with Latin American countries, but also those of the Caribbean and it was expected that Mexico would be the Caribbean’s interlocutor at G8, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings.

“Mexico is a country of 110 million people, the 10th largest economy in the world; it’s one of the Latin American giants, and one of the emerging markets, also a country of immense strength and influence” he stated.

He continued: “And for our small island states in the Eastern Caribbean we can hardly find a better interlocutor at these than Mexico.”

External Relations Minister Dr Meade said while the relationship between both countries was strong, more could still be done to make it systematically closer and add many other sectors beyond government, students, business and cultural exchanges. He said one of the items on the tour’s agenda was to solicit support from this country for the upcoming CARICOM/Mexico summit.