Fri | Apr 10, 2020

Jamaica wooed by Mexican wave - Head of mission talks up trade fortunes after investment summit

Published:Friday | April 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Jamaica stands to benefit tremendously from a massive jump in trade if a recent Business Summit for Investment between the Mexico Business Council and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States begins to bear fruit, says Mexican Deputy Head of Mission Ernesto Malda.

Malda believes that Jamaica could profit directly from having two huge markets in its backyard, with the US remaining Jamaica's largest trade partner, especially by maximising the potential of the spices industry.

Mexico has a GDP of US$1.51 trillion, making it the 15th largest economy in the world, a

“I would argue that the better synergies we have existing in the region, the better everyone benefits. If there is greater synergy between countries like the US and Mexico, then that will no doubt benefit Jamaica also in massive ways,” he told The Gleaner.

The Mexico-US CEO Dialogue and Business Summit took place in the city of Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, on April 14.

Malda said that more adequate trade flows between Mexico and the US will have pass-through price advantages for Jamaican consumers.

“When you go to the supermarkets in Jamaica, turn the packages around, a lot of them say made in Mexico. However, most of those imports come from the US. So, they are made in Mexico for the US market, and imported into Jamaica. These good synergies provide in a way for everybody benefiting from this adequate flow of trade, commerce and goodwill," said Malda.

He said that Mexican goods are being sold in some local mega supermarkets and that more two-way commercial activity could increase the scope of trade dialogue.

“It would be nice to have more Jamaican products in Mexico, such as Jamaican foods. The only problem with this would be the volume. Spices would also be a big success because like Jamaica, Mexicans love spicy food, which is why I believe Jamaican jerk sauce would be massive in that market,” the Mexican diplomat said.

Imports from Mexico to Jamaica valued around US$200 million in 26, half of which represented mineral fuels, oils and distillants. Jamaica runs a trade deficit with Mexico.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador applauded the joint statement signed by the Business Coordinating Council and the US Chamber of Commerce, and commended his America counterpart for the good relationship between the two countries.

"This meeting is an example of the policy we should follow, a policy that can be maintained when there is a sincere desire on the part of the productive sectors and the governments of both nations to do so.

"I would like to thank President Donald Trump for being open to discussing our trade, migration and security issues with respect, and in what I consider to be the most effective way - through an ongoing dialogue and with development cooperation,” said Lopez.