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Jul 25, 2017

Port of Belize collaborates with Central American partners

The Central American Commission for Maritime Transport in collaboration with the Belize Port Authority, the Port of Belize and the Port of Big Creek is hosting the thirty-ninth Central American Port Forum. Over eighty delegates from eight countries, who represent port managers and administrators, as well as representatives of Ministries of Transport, port authorities and other related entities, will also be discussing the cruise industry, environmental management at regional ports, port security and protection. We spoke with C.E.O. of the Port of Belize, Arturo Vasquez, who tells us that one of the highlights of the event is the discussion of private-public sector partnership.

 

Arturo Vasquez, C.E.O., Port of Belize

Arturo Vasquez

“It really is to share ideas throughout Central America and how we can collaborate with shipping routes, shipping ideas. One of the first forums I am a part of this afternoon is the public-private partnership dialogue that I believe is very important for ports to have full dialogue with public sector, private sector and that is where Belize needs to move forward.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is there anything specifically you’d like to take away from this forum?”

 

Arturo Vasquez

“Particularly for me, I think and that is one of the reasons I decided to be on the public-private partnership is because specifically to Belize, I believe the public-private – meaning private sector and government should come in proper dialogue to move the ports forward. In the past, the port authority use to run the ports, now the ports in Belize are all private. That is a different thing, that is investment, that is a different mindset, that is a different business perspective; so there-fore I think it is important for government who is no longer the people running the ports themselves, they run the authority – that government and private sector should have good dialogue and I want to bring or deliver a message where I think that it is important for government and private sector to dialogue when it comes to ports. Belize is lacking in many instances, in bulk facilities, in cruise docking facilities, and I think that without that dialogue Belize will perhaps not where they want to be when it comes to port. The investments are too large for us not to be working together.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“In terms of perhaps best practices that we have seen with other ports in the region, can you share with us things you have seen and maybe we can adapt here in Belize?”

 

Arturo Vasquez

“Well, the environment is always one of the important things for ports and safety, of course; safety at sea, safety on land – the loading on and off ships, as you know the stevedores are a very important part of this. Safety has to be priority, number one. And you will notice also that the Port of Belize, there is s commercial that you will see, that we have just added these scales, the International Maritime Organization had insisted that a verified gross mass policy be implemented in each country. The reason for this is because the IMO had noticed that there were overweight containers that are traveling throughout the world. There have been four or five major incidents where boats have actually sunk or broken in half because the declared weight is delivered with the cargo is not really the weight the cargo has. So, they insisted that each country implement a verified gross mass, where there is a certification made to say that that is in fact the weight. The Port of Belize has taken the initiative on that and we have installed two metal scales that really is the part that we are playing where we can now verify certainly all computerized and everything that that is the proper weight and being loaded on to the ship.”

 

The event opened today at the Biltmore Plaza and continues through to Friday.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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