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May 29, 2009

President Ma leaves behind multi-million dollar promise

Story PictureAccording to Prime Minister Dean Barrow to the National Assembly this past Thursday – he came, the earth shook… and now he’s gone. The PM was referring to the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, who departed today for Guatemala, the next stop on a tour of Central America. The president, his wife and delegation were seen off at the P.G.I.A. by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, Ambassador Joseph Shih and a representative group of Taiwanese nationals. Ma signed off on agreements in information and communication technology, agriculture and fisheries. And according to Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, the presidential visit to Belize proves to be promising for the economic development of Belize.

Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister
“The visit we thought was exceedingly successful. The message that the president brought was really one of affirmation of the position that our government has taken. They genuinely want to assist us in our economic development, in our advancement economically, and we have agreed on three areas where they have agreed that they are going to assist us with. As the days and weeks unfold, I imagine the Prime Minister is going to elaborate on those areas, but I personally am very, very excited by the prospects. I think its going to be a sea change for us in our economic development. There is no limitation as to amount of the assistance that they are giving us really. I am sure—the sense I get, is that they are going to try to help us to reform. To really revolutionize our activity both in terms of the fishing industry, the tilapia or whatever it is, as well as in terms of the agro industry and they are going to do whatever is necessary to make us internationally competitive.”

But while Elrington chose to be vague about real plum left behind by President Ma, there is word that Taiwan will provide financial aid to Belize in the vicinity of one hundred and twenty-five million dollars over a four-year period. The first twenty million will reportedly be made available for budget support.

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