‘Energy diplomat’ posted to Dutch embassy in Mexico City

The Netherlands and Mexico are to step up their energy cooperation. A dedicated energy diplomat has been posted to the Dutch embassy in Mexico City to launch joint projects and assist Dutch companies with their contracts. To this end, foreign trade and development minister Lilianne Ploumen today signed a cooperation agreement with Mexican energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell. Three trade contracts were also signed.

Ms Ploumen is in Mexico with a delegation of 23 Dutch companies active in the energy and maritime sectors. The trade mission was prompted by the Mexican government’s reform of the energy sector, which has opened the market to foreign companies.

‘The reform offers many opportunities. Mexico’s oil and gas industry is largely offshore and the country welcomes Dutch expertise in this area,’ Ms Ploumen said. ‘There’s demand for drilling rigs and ports, which need to be built. Mexico also wants to develop sustainable energy. Our companies and knowledge institutes can provide innovative solutions.’

Cooperation

Energy cooperation between Mexico and the Netherlands goes back to Queen Beatrix’s state visit to the country in 2009. Under the new, intensified agreement, the countries will share experience in public-private energy partnerships and jointly conduct research into oil applications. Another issue on the agenda is corporate social responsibility. ‘Many Mexican companies aren’t yet compliant with international standards on sustainability and occupational health and safety,’ the minister explained. ‘This limits their scope for doing business with multinational oil companies. We have a lot of expertise in this area, and we can help Mexico comply with labour and safety standards. In this way we’ll also contribute towards better working conditions and new jobs for people here.’

The Dutch energy diplomat will organise various activities, including workshops for companies and government officials on occupational health, the interests of local communities and environmental standards.

On Tuesday, the trade mission kicked off with a visit to the state of Campeche, which accounts for more than half of Mexico’s total oil production. Today Ms Ploumen joined the delegates at a networking event in Mexico City, where she talked with a number of Mexican government representatives. The programme also included a panel discussion on responsible business conduct in the energy sector. In addition, Dutch companies signed three contracts with a total value of almost €4 million. Inepro has been asked to develop a payment system for Mexico’s university campuses; Boskalis will dredge the Port of Tampico; and the Port of Rotterdam will play an advisory role in the Frontera port development.