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Aug 6, 2015

Discussions on Belize/Guatemala Partial Scope Agreement

Maria Louisa Flores Villagran

While Guatemala’s territorial dispute will take time to solve if it lands before the ICJ, trade relations between Belize and Guatemala are moving along. In June 2010, after years of negotiations, a partial scope agreement was signed with Guatemala. Today, discussions took place at the Belize City Ramada Princess on the functions of the Administrative Commission which has been established as the oversight body to supervise the administration and compliance of the trade agreement. Since the signing of the agreement, this is the second time that the Administrative Commission is meeting. The Vice Minister of Guatemala, Maria Luisa Flores Villagran, recognized Belize as an important trade partner, noting that there has been a fifteen percent annual growth in trade between the two countries. She also identified seafood as an item of great potential for export to Guatemala.


Maria Louisa Flores Villagran, Vice Minister of Economy/Commerce, Guatemala (Translated)

“For Guatemala, this is very important to be here today because Belize who is one of our important trade partners and we want to strengthen this relationship because we understand and know that commerce contributes to the objectives of better the conditions of our countries. For us in Guatemala, it is very important this market of Belize. We think that we can do a lot and I liked the words of C.E.O. Singh that it is important that we take decisions and we continue considering that this meeting will yield great results. Normally, the trade relationship between both countries has always been with mutual respect. And now with the agreement five years ago, it is important that we strengthen them. We are grateful to the technical teams that have been doing a great job and we also believe that along with the past meetings and discussions, today and tomorrow we will be able to come to important agreements. Remember that both governments support negotiations and with what you do in both negotiations and those lead to benefits to the economy of both countries.  Really this agreement is an instrument that we always take as a contribution to development. These agreements give opportunities, multiple opportunities in commerce, helps with the employment rate and better lives for our citizens. Also it is important to better manifest effectively the commerce and trade with Guatemala and Belize. In the past years, we exported to Belize products such as fertilizers, animal medicines and plastic materials that are products of Guatemalan that are being sold in the markets. Also in the case of Belize, we found that it is better the opportunities for Guatemala to import products such as shrimp and other fisheries products, corn and more. We hope that this continues to benefit both countries.”

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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