(Caribbean Community Secretariat,
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Good morning.
Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of
Your Excellency Desiré Delano
Bouterse, President of Suriname and Chairman of the
Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean
Your Excellency Irwin LaRocque,
Secretary General of CARICOM.
Distinguished special guests.
Esteemed Heads of State and
Government of the Caribbean Community.
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is an honour for me, and for
the Mexican people I represent, to be present here
at this second Mexico -Caribbean Community Summit,
I am most grateful to the people
and Government of Barbados for their kind
hospitality. Because of our historical ties, Mexico
has a close, long-standing friendship with the
nations of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean is also Mexico’s
third border; it is a region with which we share a
common destiny and the desire to increase our
respective nations’ prosperity.
In addition to our historical
ties, our deep friendship, and our common destiny
and hopes, we also share the Caribbean Sea. We are
also a part of the Caribbean Community, even though
we are not formally a part of CARICOM.
This is why I feel very positive
about this meeting. This is the first Summit in
which Mexico participates on foreign soil, although
it is the second Summit that we take part in. The
first was held in the Mexican Caribbean in 2010,
when we launched the Community of Latin American and
Caribbean States, the CELAC that - and here I agree
with Prime Minister Stuart - should in no way
substitute, replace or eliminate other international
organizations, of which we are all proud to be
I know that we will continue to
take very firm steps to further extend the
cooperation between our countries, for it is only
through greater cooperation that we will be able to
advance economic development and overcome our common
I would like to share some of my
thoughts on those challenges.
First, cooperation for
development, which is fundamental. We must promote
the exchange of experiences in key areas to increase
the competitiveness of our economies and to provide
employment for our people, especially the young.
For this reason, it is essential
we understand each other, that we collaborate and
share experiences in areas such as tourism, trade
facilitation, transportation and port modernization.
And that is why Mexico has
entered into projects with Central America on these
issues, and I am sure that through dialogue here at
this Summit, and by Mexico and the Caribbean
countries working together, we will be able to
implement creative initiatives that will enable us
to grow economically and create the jobs we so badly
Second, organized crime is a
threat to the region’s development, and we must face
this issue in an organized manner. This is a
transnational activity that affects all our
countries, and will require us to all work together
in order to face this challenge.
That is why I appreciate the
unanimous support Mexico received at the Summit of
the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia, when our
proposal to create a hemispheric system to fight
transnational organized crime was approved.
I would like to invite you to
make a joint effort to advance the implementation of
this system, for it is clear that we cannot be
disorganized when facing the challenge of organized
We have to organize ourselves,
and combine our strength to confront those who
attack what we hold most dear – the security, the
lives and the freedom of our citizens.
Thirdly, I would like to tell you
that Mexico has shown and will continue to show a
firm commitment to rebuilding Haiti. Last month I
visited that beloved Caribbean country and
supervised several projects such as the building of
clinics, schools, and hospitals that were financed
and run by the people and government of Mexico.
Today, I would like to emphasize
Mexico’s commitment to continue to support the
reconstruction efforts in Haiti. I am glad that at
this Summit we will be speaking of the challenges
and the work that still needs to be done in our
sister nation, especially in matters relating to
health and education, but also in matters of
infrastructure development, potable water and other
vital needs of the Haitian people.
Fourthly, in order to increase
our prosperity, it is essential that we strengthen
our trade and investment relations. Trade between
CARICOM countries and Mexico has more than tripled
over the past ten years, which is great progress,
but it still only represents 3 percent of Mexico’s
overall trade with Latin America and the Caribbean.
The purpose of being here today
is precisely to strengthen the trade between Mexico
and the Caribbean community. We must take advantage
of our great potential, because I am convinced that
free trade is a powerful tool that can help to
increase growth and development, especially during
these particularly difficult times for the world
I am convinced that if the world
– both developed and developing nations – want to
find a feasible way out of the recession currently
affecting so many countries around the world, if we
want stable growth, I believe the road to take is
that of increased trade, not less trade… of
increased global investment, not less global
As the Prime Minister said,
Mexico currently occupies the Presidency of the G20,
the first time by a developing country in the
The first priority on the Mexican
agenda is, precisely, to establish measures to bring
about economic stability and create growth, and to
put an end to this crisis.
A key action to this end, again,
is to facilitate the flow of trade. History shows
that protectionism and nationalization is the wrong
response to a crisis of this kind.
I am convinced that greater
openness, more trade and increased investment, will
enable our economies to grow and generate the jobs
that our people demand.
The Mexican G20 Presidency does
not intend to replace international organizations,
but to guide and promote the processes undertaken in
those organizations. We consider it a fundamental
platform for dialogue, analysis and proposals that
will allow peoples and governments to understand
their mutual problems and to find their solutions.
Specifically, under Mexico’s G20
Presidency, we have put together an ambitious agenda
for development. The present economic crisis will
not be the only topic, nor is it likely to be the
main concern on the agenda. We expect to discuss
long-term plans for sustainable, balanced growth in
As a result, in the talks prior
to the actual Summit meeting, we have included more
subjects on development than have been discussed at
any other Summit.
The current world financial
crisis is on the agenda, but we have also included
economic development of poor countries.
The restructuring of
international financial institutions is part of the
agenda; but we have also included, the topic of
financial inclusion for the world’s poorest
families, who are not eligible for loans or credit
and whose future looks very bleak.
We have included topics regarding
the economic balance between nations; but we have
also included food security, knowing that the
poorest people in the world, millions of which live
in our countries, have suffered from severely harsh
food price increases for years.
As per all our previous
discussions, we are insisting on having such issues
as infrastructure and green growth included on the
Another characteristic of the
Mexican G20 agenda is the attempt to make the
consulting process more inclusive. As President of
the G20, Mexico has gone to great lengths to
incorporate the opinions of all countries,
particularly those of developing nations, through
dialogue undertaken with non-member countries, a
case in point being the CARICOM.
We have also invited Chile, as
the President of the CILAC, to take part in the G20
For Mexico, it is very important
to hear the perspectives of developing countries
regarding the best way to increase world economic
I am aware of the problems
experienced by many countries in the Caribbean, some
of which are quite vulnerable, and I am aware of the
fact that the classification of one of these
countries as a middle-income nation results in
unfair treatment for many of them.
That is why I would like to
assure you, my dear friends, that Mexico will try
hard – we are already working on it– to have the
ideas and suggestions of the CARICOM members
considered during the next meeting the Leaders of
the G20 in Los Cabos.
The Caribbean nations can count
on Mexico as a friend and partner that will
represent this region –a region we are proud to be a
part of–.actively within the G20.
Ladies and gentleman, Heads of
State and Government of the CARICOM and of the
Mexico is a proud Caribbean
country and we look on the sea that touches all our
shores not as an obstacle that separates us, but
rather as a bridge that will lead us to a better
History, geography, and culture
have enabled us to have a common destiny.
Something I am also very
interested in, an issue we will discuss at the G20,
but that we will also have an opportunity to discuss
here at this Summit, is the issue of the environment
and the need to seek environmental alternatives.
Mexico - and I personally - share
the concern of the island states, particularly with
respect to climate change, the potential rise of sea
levels, and the consequential demand for
international commitment and action here and now.
This is why Mexico will continue
to share and sympathize with the environmental
anxieties of island states, including those of the
CARICOM. This is not just a matter of charitable
concern, but a true preoccupation for their
As a result, we are also
committed to finding alternative and renewable
sources energy in order to be able to face the
problems of climate change and also to lessen,
through those alternatives, the suffering that our
poorest families face given the price of fuel today.
It is a privilege for me to be in
Barbados, with your happy and hospitable people, to
visit this beautiful corner of our continent and to
hold discussion with my dear friends, colleagues,
and Heads of Government of the Caribbean community.
I would like to ask that at this
Summit, which, as the Prime Minister so rightly
stated, is the culmination of our teams’ hard work,
we all do our best to define concrete actions that
will promote the integration and well-being of our
I look forward with great
interest to our conversations and once again thank
the people and Government of Barbados.
Thank you very much.
Mexico is your home and your