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Belize’s Dr Leroy Almendarez leads Central American delegation on strategic visit to Taiwan

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2023. 8:07 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Dr. Leroy Almendarez, executive director of BELTRAIDE and acting president Pro Tempore of CENPROMYPE SICA, is leading a high-level Central American delegation on a diplomatic mission to Taiwan. The visit, facilitated by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), comes within the framework of the comprehensive program to support the MSME Regional Agenda (PRAAR), a project backed by Taiwan.

Taiwan, a crucial partner for CENPROMYPE SICA, is instrumental in executing programs and initiatives designed to bolster Central American MSMEs. The collective goal is to fortify regional development efforts and entrepreneur empowerment.

In the context of the exceptional relations between the Central American countries and Taiwan, particular emphasis is being placed on Belize and Guatemala. The trip aims to strengthen these relationships and foster enhanced channels for regional cooperation.

The visiting delegation, which includes senior CENPROMYPE officials and representatives from Panama and the Dominican Republic, has engaged in an intensive program of site visits and meetings. Among the entities they have met are the Central American Trade Office (CATO), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA), and the Importers and Exporters Association of Taiwan (IEAT).

CATO noted that the economic ties between Belize and Taiwan saw a significant three-fold increase after signing the Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA). Meanwhile, CABEI highlighted the existence of financial vehicles to support MSME projects across all eight SICA countries.

Ambassador Pitts from Belize’s embassy in Taiwan also had the opportunity to showcase Belize’s product offerings to the visiting delegation. The vice minister of foreign affairs, Ambassador Alexander Tah-ray Yui, extended his hospitality by hosting a business lunch for the delegation.

Recognizing that MSMEs contribute significantly to employment and GDP in Central American countries, the visit underlines the necessity of allocating technical and financial resources to ensure their long-term sustainability as drivers of macroeconomic growth.


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