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Jul 22, 2015

Sedi on Bilateral Agreements Signed with Mexico

Wilfred Elrington

During a working visit which culminated in Mexico, Foreign Minister Elrington also signed eight bilateral agreements with that country on issues including energy management, social security, intellectual property protection and promotion of patents, climate change research and consumer protection. Elrington says it is important that Belize work with both Guatemala and Mexico, especially where security is concerned, because our nation acts as the gatekeeper for both those countries.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“They are framework agreements. What we are doing really is to establish the legal framework so that when the investors from Mexico come to Belize, they know exactly what the situation is. They are not going to be met with arbitrary situations; they are going to be met with situations that are articulated clearly in law and accessible so that their people know what they are coming to meet and their governments know what they are coming to meet. That is the first step. Once that is clear, then we can negotiate other agreements with specific terms and conditions which are going to give life to those agreements. So really and truly, at this point in time, there are all framework agreements that don’t go into specificity in any area whatsoever. That is going to be left to be done down the road and that can only be done after extensive consultation with the stakeholders because remember whatever we do, we do in the name of the government and the people of Belize and also with the benefit of the people of Belize in mind. And so it would be irresponsible of us to go and negotiate an agreement relating the transportation without in fact us having to canvas the views of all people who are involved in the transportation industry—taxi drivers, bus drivers and everybody. So we’ll have to canvas their views, take their views and make our agreement based on the views they give us. So that’s the position. The Mexicans are very excited about that. We had agreement with respect to the free passage of their shipping vessels through our waters and the naval vessels and that kind of thing because it is expected that there are times that they will come into our waters and it is expected that hopefully there will be times when we will go into their waters and we will be able to—if anything happens, we will have a protocol of how to deal with it.”

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