United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, announced during the visit of the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray, that the UK is developing plans for new bilateral Prosperity programming of up to £60 million to support Mexico’s economic development and reform.
The cross-Whitehall fund is an Official Development Assistance program dedicated to stimulating sustainable economic development and poverty reduction within the target country. The Mexico program will focus on four strategic strands: energy, future cities, financial services and business environment.
Our Energy strand supports Mexico in the implementation of its far-reaching energy reform through institutional strengthening and capacity building. It aims to build a strong partnership that promotes an open, robustly-regulated Mexican energy sector, and a shared vision for low carbon growth and sustainable development contributing to both the primary purpose of the fund of sustainable economic development and poverty reduction, and its secondary benefit of creating commercial opportunities for business, including UK business.
As part of the activities carried out by the Prosperity Fund in Mexico, the UK was this year’s guest of honor at the International Talent and Energy Summit (FITE) organized by the Coahuila State Energy Cluster, which took place in Saltillo in October 2017. Last financial year, through the Energy program, the Prosperity Fund supported the Cluster in the delivery of human resource development plans for the energy sectors of the states of Campeche and Tamaulipas. Both governments have committed to their implementation.
Robert Gordon University have also worked closely with the Ministry of Energy to provide key recommendations for a national Skills Development Plan for the energy sector.
In support of these efforts to increase human capacity in the energy sector, Donella Beaton from Robert Gordon University participated during FITE in the panel, ¨Evolution of the model of hiring personnel by the energy companies in the global scope.” The aim of this participation was to support the ongoing collaboration between leading UK universities and top Mexican institutions in developing bilateral research partnerships.
In addition, a core part of the Mexico program is improving gender equality across all four of the sectors. As part of this cross-cutting strategy, we were also accompanied by Raylene Whitford, CEO of Løvinne Energy Ltd. After spending six months as the only female roughneck on an onshore drilling rig in Canada, Raylene now works with the government of Ecuador to develop commercial capabilities in the country’s indigenous communities who have been impacted by the operations of the energy sector.
Raylene, as an advocate for gender equality in the energy sector, shared her experience with key stakeholders both in Mexico and in the panel on “Women in the energy sector” at FITE 2017.
The FITE offered a unique platform for interaction between private initiatives, educational institutions, government agencies and human resources from across the sector, integrating all branches: oil, gas, electricity and renewable energy. It acted as a gateway to new investment opportunities and improvements to the Mexican Energy Reform.