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Jul 27, 2017

How the Ports of Central America Will Work Together

On Tuesday, the thirty-ninth Central American Port Forum opened in Belize. The annual event is being hosted by Central American Commission for Maritime Transport in collaboration with the Belize Port Authority, the Port of Belize and the Port of Big Creek. Over eighty delegates from the port industry across the region are discussing the state of the industry, sharing best practices and planning ahead.  C.E.O. of the Port of Belize, Arturo Vasquez, expresses a desire to see a stronger private-public partnership for the success of Belize’s port business. But another topic for discussion at the forum is women in the port industry. At the opening we spoke with the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Port Authority, Ruth Staine Dawson. She explains their role in this meeting of the minds of the region’s port industry where women are making their mark.


Ruth Staine-Dawson

Ruth Staine-Dawson, Chair of Board of Directors, Belize Port Authority

“When you consider that we are an agent of the Government, and we are a part of the regulatory apparatus. So, our task is to ensure that whatever international conventions are agreed to are followed. Our role is to assist the government as well to arrive at legislation that will regulate the industry and then implement those things and having a workable relationship with the private sector that operates these services.”


Andrea Polanco

“Looking ahead, do you anticipate anything major coming out of this forum?”


Ruth Staine-Dawson

“Well, I believe there is going to be a lot of discussion on the private-public sector partnership and that is important in our area of the industry. I think you heard the mention of the expanding of the BALLAST Water Convention; one that is already being implemented is the Gross Mass Verification. I think from out of it what will come is a greater understanding of what we do and how we can do things better; appreciate what successes our regional partners have; what we may adopt from them and going forward how we can work better in partnership, both public and private towards making the whole matter of transportation by sea – as you know there are conventions that govern this.”



“As a woman, would you like to comment on the role that women can pay in the sector?”


Ruth Staine-Dawson

“It wasn’t so long ago that women started to play significant roles in the sector and in fact women recognize that not only are we capable of doing these roles but there is the need for more of us to become involved. We have the privilege in Belize of a Ports Commissioner, a chairman of the Board, and even the C.E.O. in our Ministry – all women. We have in our management structure, several women, and our operations officer is also female and across our industry in Belize; IMMARBE is headed by a woman, the Port of Belize has Ms Waight as a very senior personnel. Regionally, we do have a growing number of women becoming involved. We feel that it is a matter of not having opportunities before but certainly not reflecting on any lack of ability.”

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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