(Mexico, April 7-8, 1988)
The second meeting of the Mexico-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Joint Commission was held in Mexico City on 7-8 April, 1988.
The Mexican Delegation was led by Ambassador Miguel Angel Olea Sisniega, General Coordinator of Advisors to the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs. The Caribbean Delegation, in turn, was led by Mr. Roderick Rainford, Secretary-General of CARICOM.
Due to the multilateral character of the Caribbean Community, the Director in Chief for Multilateral Affairs, Lic. Claude Heller, closed the meeting and signed the final report on behalf of the Mexican Government. The lists of both Delegations are attached as Annexes 1 and 2.
The meeting adopted the Agenda which is attached as Annex 3 and established the following working groups.
Working Group 1 was coordinated, on the Mexican side, by Amb. Francisco Gonzalez de Cossio, Director General of Bilateral Economic Relations, and on the CARICOM side by the Chief of the CARICOM Delegation, Mr. Roderick Rainford. Working Group 2 was coordinated by Amb. Gustavo Iruegas, Ambassador of Mexico to Jamaica, and by Mr. Byron Blake, Director of Economics and Industry of the CARICOM Secretariat, respectively.
I. GENERAL MATTERS
The opening speeches of both Heads of Delegation are attached as Annexes 4 and 5.
In reviewing the items included on the Agenda, The Joint Commission took into account the matters agreed on the occasion of the various meetings held during the present decade, such as the meeting for the Evaluation of Mexico-CARICOM Economic, Scientific-Technical and Cultural Relations (23-25 January 1985, Georgetown, Guyana) and the meeting of Mexico-CARICOM Technical Working Groups on Trade and Finance (18-19 August, 1987, Georgetown, Guyana).
Both delegations recognized the importance of scientific and technical cooperation as an important factor in strengthening ties between the countries of CARICOM and Mexico.
II. COMMERCIAL MATTERS
The Mexican side made particular reference to the process of opening its economy through the gradual elimination of licences, non-tariff barriers and the operation of the tariff regime for which rates of duty have been reduced. The Mexican Delegation expressed that this process of commercial opening, conceived in terms of a non-discriminatory treatment and the most favoured nation clause, may lead to promote cooperation between Mexico and member states of CARICOM.
The CARICOM Delegation described the foreign trade regime of CARICOM based upon the provisions of the treaty establishing the Caribbean Common Market. It was explained that the member states were in the process of reviewing their customs tariffs to implement a common Customs tariffs regime for the Common Market by a target date of January 1, 1990. A document explaining the existing and planned arrangement was circulated for the information of the Mexican side.
With respect to the determination by each side of products which it is interested in exporting to the other side:
With respect to the creation and implementation of a system of information exchange and trade promotion to support expansion of trade between Mexico and CARICOM:
With regard to the promotion of institutionalized contacts between the private sectors of Mexico and CARICOM:
With respect to the possible conclusion of a trade agreement between Mexico and CARICOM:
III. FINANCIAL MATTERS
Both Delegations agreed that financial cooperation has great potential for improving the economic relations between Mexico and CARICOM, not only because of the support that it could provide for the conduct of bilateral trade but also for the identification and implementation of projects of mutual interest to be agreed upon.
The Mexican delegation reiterated the willingness of its Government to support projects with funds supplied by it to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), to be used by any Member State of CARICOM, which have been available since 1982 and which have not been utilized fully.
With regard to the statements made at the Meeting of Mexico-CARICOM Technical Working Group on Trade and Finance held in Georgetown, Guyana, on 18-19 August 1987, both parties confirmed the purpose of giving priority to projects identified by the Mexico-CARICOM Joint Commission and the projects involving the less developed countries of CARICOM. To this end, the Mexican Delegation reiterated its willingness to use its resources at the CDB, not only in sectors covered by operations of the Bank but also to provide consultancy services, technical assistance, scholarships, and in education.
The Mexican delegation referred to the conversations between UNIDO, UNDP, ECLAC, CDB and the Mexican Government to consider a proposal to develop a project funded from the SDF resources with the aim of identifying projects in the Caribbean countries which would incorporate Mexican technology and Mexican goods and services and indicated that CARICOM should participate in these meetings. The CARICOM delegation stated that it needed more information on the project before considering its participation.
Both delegations agreed that it was desirable that technical assistance projects in other sectors of cooperation be identified by the respective institutions as soon as possible, with the aim of making use of the resources Mexico has in the SDF.
The Mexican delegation considered it desirable to hold a seminar in Mexico at which CDB officials expose Mexican entrepreneurs to the opportunity offered for participation in projects funded by CDB in Caribbean countries. Also, it was considered as desirable the convening of a seminar oriented to the Eastern Caribbean countries, through the OECS Secretariat.
In reviewing possible agreements for the financing of external trade, the Mexican delegation explained its financial policy relating to the establishment of this type of arrangement.
CARICOM, for its part, made two proposals as follows:
The Mexican delegation replied that in relation to these proposals it would require additional information, since the concept was new, and would only be able to note the proposals at this time.
Both delegations, however, expressed support for the continuation of negotiations of bilateral lines of credit. The Mexican delegation also indicated its willingness to examine requests for financial arrangements from CARICOM Member States in support of trade.
In addition, CARICOM also requested a statement regarding the Mexican position on financial support for the proposed Caribbean Export Bank (CXB).
The Mexican delegation indicated that before a final decision could be taken it would have to await further information on the precise structure and operations of CXB.
The Mexican and CARICOM sides recognized that there was good potential for the development of joint ventures between Mexican and CARICOM investors for the purpose of supplying CARICOM, Mexican and third country markets. Accordingly, it was agreed that both sides would seek to put in place an arrangement for the conduct of studies for the promotion of joint ventures. In this connection, the Mexican side submitted for the consideration of the CARICOM side a draft of a proposed cooperation agreement for the promotion of joint ventures between Nacional Financiera, S.N.C. and an appropriate CARICOM institution such as the CDB.
The CARICOM side for its part explained the evolution of industrial policies both at the national and regional levels within the Caribbean Common Market. It was pointed out that individual CARICOM Member States have been engaging in a process of formulating and clarifying their industrial and investment policies, and that documentation on these individual policies has been supplied in the recent past to the Mexican side. It was further emphasized that at the regional level the center piece of the industrial development policy is the establishment of a Common Market Industrial Programming Scheme. The CARICOM delegation tabled for the information of the Mexican delegation a document outlining the evolution of industrial development policies and programs in the CARICOM region.
Both Delegations agreed to promote industrial cooperation in order to profit on the great opportunities envisaged in this area. In this regard the Joint Commission agreed:
The Mexican side was informed of plans for a Trade and Investment Promotion Exposition by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States in Antigua in September 1988, and agreed to encourage Mexican private sector participation in this activity.
In this context, they took note of the effective and positive consultation and exchange of information between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago on the petroleum sector.
In recognizing the importance of developing new sources of energy and the Mexican experience in this field, the two sides agreed to revive consideration of cooperation activities as follows: a) various projects aimed at the identification and development of new sources of energy, including geo-thermal energy and, b) manpower training in wind and geo-thermal energy. In this regard, note was taken of the preparedness of the Mexican side to help advance the process by receiving a technical delegation from CARICOM and to promote participation of the Mexican Institute of Electrical Research in the agreed activities.
Diplomatic channels will be used to exchange the information needed to specify the areas of interest to CARICOM in this field, as well as the conditions, requirements and costs implied in holding courses agreed upon by the parties.
2. Air Transport.
The CARICOM delegation outlined to its counterpart possible areas of cooperation between Mexico and the member countries of CARICOM in the field of tourism, particularly with regard to consultation, exchange of information, joint promotion, training and financing. In this regard, the CARICOM delegation presented the Mexican side with a document describing in more detail these possible areas for practical cooperation between CARICOM Member Countries and Mexico in the area of tourism, and it was proposed that an appropriate mechanism be agreed to by both parties, including the possibility of a technical meeting, to discuss the implementation of any agreed proposals.
The Mexican, delegation offered to examine the contents of the document and to convey its comments through diplomatic channels as soon as possible.
The parties also exchanged information on statistics, promotional material and their respective legislation in this field.
Both delegations expressed their interest in increasing cooperation in this field.
The CARICOM delegation offered to provide the Mexican side with the detailed “Caribbean Cooperation in Health Programme”, with a view to the identification of areas of mutual interest and of possibilities for the provision of Mexican assistance.
The Parties agreed on the need to establish a consultation mechanism that would make it possible to streamline cooperative activities and projects in the fields of education; exchange of scholarships – particularly those of the type mentioned in the Final Report of the First Meeting of the Mexico-CARICOM Joint Commission – restoration and conservation of the cultural heritage; painting and sculpture, music, dance and theatre; archives, libraries and publications; audiovisual material; and youth and sports.
Special emphasis was given to the problem that language differences present in carrying out exchanges in education and scholarships and it was consequently decided to make concrete efforts to prepare Spanish and English language promotion programmes.
The Parties concluded that educational and cultural cooperation could be initiated through the exchange of information and documents that would provide an understanding of the respective education systems, study plans and programmes, and the artistic resources of each country.
The Joint Commission agreed that its Third Meeting would be convened at a venue on a date to be determined in consultation through the diplomatic channels.
Done in Mexico City on April 8, 1988, in English and Spanish versions, both texts being equally valid.
II REUNION DE LA COMISION MIXTA COMUNIDAD DEL CARIBE-MEXICO
México, D.F., 7 y 8 de Abril de 1988.
Secretaría De Hacienda y Crédito Público
Secretaría De Energía, Minas E Industria Paraestatal
Secretaría De Comercio Y Fomento Industrial
Secretaría De Agricultura Y Recursos Hidráulicos
Secretaría De Comunicaciones Y Transportes
Secretaría De Turismo
Nacional Financiera, S.N.C.
Consejo Empresarial Mexicano Para Asuntos Internacionales
Organización De Las Naciones Unidas Para El Desarrollo Industrial
II MEETING OF THE JOINT-COMMISSION
México, D.F., 7 y 8 De Abril De 1988
I GENERAL MATTERS
II COMMERCIAL MATTERS
III FINANCIAL MATTERS
IV INDUSTRIAL MATTERS
V ENERGY MATTERS
VI TRANSPORT MATTERS
1. Maritime Transport
2. Air Transport
VII TOURISM SECTOR
VIII COOPERATION IN HEALTH
IX COOPERATION IN EDUCATION AND CULTURE