The recently elected Guatemalan President, Alejandro Giammattei has expressed interest in working with Belize on trade and commerce. In a statement made to Guatemalan media, he noted that both countries must look beyond the territorial dispute. Belize’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington says he agrees.
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize: “If you look at the world stage you have intense relationship between China and Taiwan but nobody do more investment in China than Taiwanese and vice versa. Now I don’t think that they are much more sophisticated than us where they can see beyond the dispute and understand that it is imperative if they are to protect their people and enhance the standard of living that they should trade. People here in Belize regretfully may not be able to at this time might not be seeing as far as we should be seeing because of the emotionalism that is involved in this claim but I will tell you if you go to Cayo on any day every minute you see people from Cayo going across to Melchor going across and coming back that is trade, that is investment, that has been going on from time immemorial it will never stop, people will go and trade, that is how you survive. So those who are making those statements are I would suggest not the people whom we should listen to, we should listen to the people who will have the responsibility to pay the bills. People who have to pay the bills, pay for the nurses, pay for the doctors, pay for the school teachers and the like understand that unless you do robust trade and investment you will not be able to pay for those services and life in Belize is going to become nasty, brutish and short. So we have to be mature, we have got to be prescient, we have got to understand that the reason why we need to resolve this matter is because we need to enhance our relationship both in terms of security and in terms of trade and investment and to have the President saying publicly that he wants to get on with this agenda, something that we have been advocating all along and have been working with with some measure of success is clearly good news for all of us who are in government and who have leadership responsibility in the country.”