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Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture join forces to improve bilateral trade with Guatemala, Mexico

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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2021. 6:47 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Government of Belize Press Office

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture are joining forces to improve and widen bilateral trade with neighbouring Guatemala and Mexico.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration Eamon Courtenay and Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai headed teams from their ministries at a meeting they held in Belmopan on Monday, December 20, 2021.

Discussions focused on ways in which the two ministries can improve cooperation and collaboration to further develop Belize’s trade and investment agenda with Guatemala and Mexico.

“Key among the discussions was the scope of the market access interest by Belize’s side into Guatemala relating to the ongoing negotiations for the expansion of the Partial Scope Agreement; and the interests, constraints and concerns relating to the formalization of bilateral trade and investment between Belize and Mexico,” said a statement by the Government of Belize Press Office.

Belize already has a Partial Scope Agreement with Guatemala and has been working on developing one with Mexico. That agreement has been discussed by Prime Minister John Briceño with the President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador during his state visit earlier this year and during meetings Minister Mai has had with the Mexico Agriculture Secretary Víctor Manuel Villalobos Arámbula.

“Discussions also included the state of Belize’s export competitiveness covering production capacity for key exports, the import requirements to be met by local producers for export to Guatemala and Mexico, the companies currently capable of producing for export to these markets, the role of trade (market) intelligence in entering export markets, and the mobilization of resources for trade development,” added the Press Office.

The Ministries agreed to meet quarterly from now on to focus on securing preferential markets for Belize’s exports.

The two Ministers were joined by Ramon Cervantes, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Trade and Immigration; Ambassador Amalia Mai, CEO for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; and Servulo Baeza, CEO for Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise. Senior technical officers in the respective ministries provided support to the ministerial teams.

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