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Jan 28, 2005

Mexicans will ease restrictions at border

Story PictureDespite the upbeat assessment of bilateral relations, both sides acknowledged problems at the border, with Mexican customs officials enforcing strict limits on Mexican purchases in the Corozal Free Zone, the result being a significant drop in Free Zone business. For Derbez, the whole matter can be attributed to overzealous bureaucrats–a situation that will soon, be assured us, be corrected.

Luis Derbez, Mexican Foreign Minister
?What you see right now, it happens almost every year in Mexico when we go through the budget process. Once you approve the budget process, you will have a series of rules and regulations that every year seems to be changing. This is what we are facing right now; one change of regulation that is affected very clearly what used to be almost a freewill of passing things from Belize to Mexico. I think that is the best goal for Mexico and Belize. So as petition has made through the meeting, we have agreed now that to take into consideration very quickly and I?m hoping we will be able to solve this in the coming thirty days so that as for the next month you will be able to have the same situation you had in the past. It is terrible to say this bureaucratic kind of mistake in the sense that when you go into the budgetary process in Mexico it?s complicated; you put a lot of rules and regulation because you want to have an overall sense and apparently what happened in this case is someone put this new disposition that is affecting the trade between the two countries. We will eliminate that very quickly.?

Stewart Krohn
?Minister is that the same answer you would have given to members of the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce if you were addressing them, honestly??

Luis Derbez
?I?ll tell you what I gave the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce when I was Minister of Economy. They asked me about the Freezone and what I said to them it made a lot of sense to invest. I must say that they unfold my advise because about forty percent of the investment in the Freezone is Mexican. I think it makes a lot of sense to go that way. This is what we are pushing very strongly. We have to have in Mesoamerica a more clear concept, not only Belize/Mexico, but the overall Central American Region. It?s one of the purposes of the Panama, Puebla programme. So don?t worry, of course it will be given to them.?

Derbez is the frontrunning candidate in the ongoing effort to select a new Secretary General for the Organization of American States. Belize was an early supporter of the Mexican’s candidacy and has lobbied on his behalf within the numerically crucial CARICOM bloc.

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