Listen Live On Our Live Stream or Tune To Our Frequencies: 88.3 FM | 88.9 FM | 94.7 FM | 95.1 FM | 98.1 FM | 98.5 FM

COCATRAM Delegates Meet with BPA to Discuss Belize’s Incorporation

Belize continues to make progress on becoming a full member of the Central American Commission on Maritime Transport (COCATRAM). The Belize Port Authority (BPA) and maritime stakeholders are conducting a meeting with delegates from the organisation to discuss the benefits that Belize will be able to take advantage of when it becomes a member. Ports Commissioner retired Major H. Gilbert Swaso explained that by becoming a member, Belize will be able to benefit from technical training and capacity building to combat maritime and port development challenges. 

Major H. Gilbert Swaso, Ports Commissioner, Belize Port Authority: “The international technical capacity will be enhanced because there’s a technical corporation which we will automatically benefit from and so it will enhance our human capital. It will enhance our strategy where we can develop a national maritime transport policy so there are certain studies that we also need to do which we are lagging behind as a country and by signing on and becoming full fledged members we’ll be able to get some of that technical support for us to be better able to align ourselves and find out what are the low hanging foot so that then we can advance from a state of infancy within the maritime industry to adulthood and certainly to manhood as it relates to maritime and shipping industry. One of the main things that we can certainly benefit from is Port State Control. Port State Control is inspections that are done to ships. You may be aware that Belize as, needs supplies that usually comes by ships and there may be issues as it relates to pollution issues, as it relates to defective navigation equipment, defective machinery and these are some of the things that Belize Port Authority has the responsibility to inspect these vessels.”

Pro-temp President of COCATRAM, Saul Castelar added that they are hoping that Belize’s integration into the organisation will encourage other countries to become part of the group. He spoke on the discussions, designed to strengthen digitization in ports, a need that became necessary thanks to the pandemic.  

Saul Castelar, President Pro Tempore, COCATRAM: “We also have a very good relationship with the IMO, The International Maritime Organization and we have a very successful capacity building program with them which is actually topping the world, according to IMO. IMO has set our capacity building program as an example for all the regions in the world and Belize would become part of this effort and also benefit from these capacity building objectives. There are definitely some things that we still need to take care of in terms of keeping a good registry of all these transactions for instance and so I think the main obstacle that I see is trying to get all the resources that this process may require for some of the countries. The income levels in some of our countries are different and we are trying to promote, as I said before, a homogeneous platform for all of the countries to be working at.”  

COCATRAM attends to matters related to the maritime and port development of Central America and its main function is to advise member governments in the adoption of policies and decisions to achieve further development of the sector.