Belize Pushes for Regional Economic Integration in Talks with IDB
Minister of State, Christopher Coye, recently returned from Guatemala where he led a delegation to the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) 37th Meeting of Governors of the Central American Isthmus and the Dominican Republic. The meeting took place early this week, and was aimed at fostering discussions on regional economic integration, infrastructure development, and bilateral cooperation. During the trip, the Belize delegation was able to meeting Ilan Goldfain, the IDB President. In that discussion, Minister Coye highlighted the importance of a Belize-inclusive Central American integration, particularly in logistics (transportation and port) and energy. Areas of integration opportunities underscored included the contemplated expansion of the Pacific Corridor Initiative to include Belize as an Atlantic/Caribbean Corridor and Southern Mexico access alternative. Belize, uniquely positioned as a member of CARICOM and SICA and with geographic advantage, offers a ready opportunity to facilitate trade between southern Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Central American countries. The second priority area discussed was the Central American Electric Interconnection System (SIEPAC) and renewable energy. Discussions highlighted Belize’s potential to become a significant energy partner through SIEPAC, an interconnection project spanning six Central American countries. According to the government, with investments in solar energy, Belize is primed to harness its renewable resources for regional benefit, while at the same time enhancing energy stability and security by way of alternative energy access through SIEPAC. The third key discussion had to do with the possibility of monetizing carbon credits with IDB, serving the role of a market maker in this regard. Recognizing Belize’s carbon credits as natural capital assets, IDB expressed interest in exploring avenues for collaboration in this arena.