The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is confident that Mexico will articulate critical concerns affecting the countries of this regional group at the upcoming G20 Summit, which is slated to be held in Los Cabos, Mexico, next month.
Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM and President of Suriname, Desir?? Bouterse, made this announcement during a press conference held at the end of the 2nd CAIRCOM-Mexico Summit, which took place at Hilton Barbados earlier this week.
Describing the summit as "most productive and beneficial", President Bouterse said that CARICOM Ministers conducted extensive discussions with President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon.?? He further disclosed that commitments in specific areas of cooperation were made, and he identified those areas as transportation, energy, tourism, trade and investment and citizen security.
President Bouterse declared: "We of the Caribbean community are confident that Mexico understands our concerns as small, highly indebted middle income countries, and will be able to advocate forcefully on our behalf."
He continued: "President Calderon has assured us that he will carry our message to the G20 when that meeting is held in his country, with particular reference to … the international financial institutions and the issue of the valuation of some of our countries."
President Bouterse also expanded on the areas of cooperation between CARICOM and Mexico.?? He said: "CARICOM is also pleased that Mexico will lend us the experience and expertise in our tourism industry.?? We have agreed to share experiences and strategies in the small and medium sized enterprises in the private sector.
Representation at the G20 Summit is of particular importance to the region as CARICOM states are not members of that international group.?? The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union.?? They meet to create economic and financial policies designed to ultimately accomplish stable and sustainable world economic growth.?? Consequently, CARICOM considers it vital that policy decisions by the G20 take into account the positions and concerns of small island developing states.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, also reiterated this point during a press briefing at the 2nd CARICOM Mexico Summit.?? "Developing countries with our particular concerns are seen as middle income but [we] are highly vulnerable [and] highly indebted.?? It is important we have persons that could articulate our case.?? Therefore, countries like Mexico, which have indicated that they
were very happy to do so, we would sit and dialogue to make sure that there is full appreciation of the kind of challenges and vulnerabilities that we would face," she asserted.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderon confirmed his country’s position during the opening ceremony of the summit.?? According to him, it was important to hear the perspectives of the developing countries regarding the best way to increase world economic growth.
"…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," he assured, further adding, "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 these countries as middle-income nations results in unfair treatment for many of them."
Noting that the upcoming G20 Summit in Los Cabos would include more subjects on development than any other summit, President Calderon revealed: "We have also included economic development of poor countries. The restructuring of international financial institutions is part of the agenda…"
He noted other topics on the agenda included economic balance between nations, and food security.??