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Feb 1, 2018

Mexico Promotes Legitimate Trade against Contraband

Carlos Quesnel Melendez

Back from his end-of-year working visit to his homeland to meet with counterparts in the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Carlos Quesnel Melendez, hosted the press at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City, to review the work of last year and the projects for 2018. February second marks three years in the post and it has been marked by continually improving relations between the two nations. The Ambassador announced several projects, including a full trade mission, increased tourism and educational projects such as the launch of a second Escuela Mexico in Pueblo Viejo, Toledo. He then took questions on several issues, beginning with the persistent problem of contraband. After rowdy incidents involving smugglers took place at the border, the Ambassador affirmed Mexico’s commitment to fighting contrabandistas and mentioned that part of the solution is to hasten the formal trade agreement to lessen loopholes for those afoul of the law.

 

Carlos Quesnel Melendez, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize

“We are aware of the issue of contraband between both countries and what I can tell you is that it’s something very difficult to control, because of the border – we have a two hundred and eighty-eight kilometer border. We certainly work on the protection of the border and try to do our best. But the main response to that problem of contraband is rather to work on the Partial Scope Commercial Agreement because that would allow merchandise to come to Belize from Mexico; merchandise to be exported from Belize to Mexico in a better manner. It would make trade more easy, facilitate the trade, the commerce between both countries, and that would allow traders from both countries to do a better trade of merchandise. What happened in Subteniente Lopez: certainly Mexican authorities are trying to tighten the supervision, the control of products that come to Mexico, for the safety not only of Mexico but also the safety of Belizeans and we have seen good results. The products coming from Belize to Mexico and from Mexico to Belize are coming through Chactemal. We have very modern facilities in Chactemal and we are trying to take advantage of that.”

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