During this administration, nautical education has been strengthened: the number of graduates from the three nautical schools in Mazatlan, Tampico and Veracruz has expanded by 187 per cent. In addition to receiving state of the art training, they are successfully inserted into the job market.

At present, the 40 largest ports in Mexico have the capacity to handle 370 million tonnes a year. This is nearly 90 million tons more than the amount moved in 2012, equivalent to 32 percent, he said.

Mexico is on track to meet the target of almost doubling the capacity of its ports and being able to transport than 500 million tons a year by 2018.

· The president led the Navy Day celebrations.

As part of the commemoration of Navy Day, President Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated, “Personnel in the Mexico Navy, and the merchant, tourist, oil and fishing navy, who sail the seas aboard ships flying the Mexican flag.”

He declared that the Navy is essential for our country to be consolidated as a world leader in trade, competitive logistics and tourism.

He said that, “Realizing the strategic importance of our seas, in the three and a half years of this administration, we have given the merchant navy a renewed impetus.”

President Peña Nieto said that during this administration, “Nautical education has been strengthened. The number of graduates from the three nautical schools in Mazatlan, Tampico and Veracruz has expanded by 187 per cent. In addition to receiving state of the art training, they are successfully inserted into the job market.”

He said that as regards the national fleet, “We currently have 739 large vessels in the national fleet; the highest number of large ships in our history.”

The president said that there has also been progress in infrastructure: "Currently the 40 most important ports in Mexico have the capacity to handle 370 million tons per year, almost 90 million tons more than in 2012, a 32 percent increase.”

Mexico is on track to meet the target of almost doubling the capacity of its ports and being able to transport than 500 million tons a year by 2018”.

He explained that projects underway include the expansion of the ports of Altamira, Ciudad del Carmen and Progreso in the Gulf of Mexico, and the construction of new facilities in the ports of Coatzacoalcos, Matamoros, Seybaplaya, Tuxpan and Veracruz. Improvements on the Pacific include the modernization of the Ports of Guaymas and Mazatlan, new installations in Lázaro Cárdenas, Salina Cruz and Topolobampo; "And of course the work to expand the Port of Manzanillo.”

The president recalled that in 2012, “Manzanillo was saturated and required the joint efforts of the authorities and entrepreneurs to achieve its modernization.”

Three years since then, he said, “Thanks to the first stage of the Container Terminal and Multipurpose Terminal we have just inaugurated, Manzanillo is repositioning itself as one of the most dynamic, productive and efficient ports in Latin America".

He highlighted the noble mission of the Mexican Navy. “Its loyal, patriotic performance, always for the benefit of the nation, is a source of pride for all Mexicans,” he said.

He said that by fulfilling the missions entrusted to it by the country with honor and dignity, the Mexican Navy, “Is contributing to the achievement of the major national goals my government has set.”

At the event, held in the forecourt of Manzanillo’s Multipurpose Terminal, President Peña Nieto gave awards for Time in Service to Admiral Jorge Alberto Burguete Kaller, Commander of the Sixth Naval Region, and Gregorio Gilberto Orozco, Harbor Pilot in Manzanillo.

A NATIONAL POLICY TO BOOST THE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY REQUIRES A SAFETY STRATEGY FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR SEAS, SHORES AND COASTAL PORTS: ADMIRAL SOBERÓN SANZ

Naval Secretary Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz said that enhancing the National Maritime Sector as part of the National Development Plan is a state policy designed to achieve higher levels of development, competitiveness and sustainability.

He noted that in three and a half years, significant progress has been made in the modernization of the national maritime fleet, the increase in fishing activities, the improvement and expansion of port infrastructure, the promotion of tourism, and  the protection of marine resources. "We have had good winds as well as rough seas, yet it must be admitted that our maritime sector is growing stronger by the day,” he said.

He said that those who are part of this sector are aware of the importance of their work: “We try to ensure that all the actions and changes to be made are decided by the maritime sector as a whole and always in Mexico's best interests.”

He noted that times of change requires the certainty and collaboration of all stakeholders. Let us hope, he said, “That actions in favor of the national maritime sector will only bring benefits for Mexico and benefits for society. Positive results are directly related to sweeping changes. That is the challenge facing us.”

"A national policy with an economic and social momentum requires a strategy to ensure the security and protection of our oceans, coasts and ports,” he said, and confirmed the Mexican Navy’s commitment,  “To continue making the effort required to ensure the integrity, promotion and improvement of the national maritime sector.”

SOLEMN CEREMONY TO HONOR MARINES

Earlier on, aboard the Usumacinta 412 of the Mexican Navy, President Peña Nieto led the Solemn Ceremony at Sea to Honor the Mariners, during which he laid a wreath in memory of the sailors who had died at sea. Two members of the Heroic Naval Military School played Taps to recall the marines who lost their lives in the call of duty.