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Is Belize ditching CARICOM for Central America?

In an interview with Agriculture Minister Jose Mai, he voiced some of his reservations he had with the hoops that some sectors of Belize’s agriculture industry had to jump through to get their products into Caribbean countries. Minister Mai noted that because of that, the policy of the Government is to expand relationships with our Central American neighbours. Given Belize’s interest in joining COCATRAM, the Ports Commissioner was asked if this focus means Belize is ditching CARICOM on the maritime front. Major H Gilbert Swaso noted that this is simply a case of many hands making light work. Here’s how he put it. 

Maj. (Ret’d) H. Gilbert Swaso, Port Commissioner: “I just recently had a meeting with Mr. Colin Young who is the head of the CMOU which is the similar to COCATRAM in the Caribbean. We are not letting go at all. We are of the view that the more hands we join with, we will be more aware and in a better position to support the maritime, economic and perhaps the pollution issues that exist within the country at this time. So essentially, the more support you get from different organisations is aiming towards one objective, that is to achieve the International Maritime Organisation Convention obligations and we can achieve that through the Caribbean. We can achieve that through COCATRAM so I believe we’re on the right track that we’re heading and the country can only benefit by collaborating with other organisations, in particular, COCATRAM.”

The events continue tomorrow with a visit to the Big Creek Port in Stann Creek.