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Minister Perez Comments on NEAC Rejecting Waterloo’s Proposal

And while Minister Andre Perez advises for the downsize of NEAC, he did weigh in on the committee’s decision to reject the project proposal from Waterloo for the Port of Belize Cruise and Cargo Expansion.

Andre Perez, Minister of Civil Aviation and Blue Economy: We want to make it clear that we have a mandate. The Blue Economy mandate calls for investments to happen in this country. It calls also for the taking care of the environment that is the essence of the Blue Economy that we must thread that thin line where we can find that equilibrium. As I have said many times our Blue Economy ministry is not an environmental portfolio but it is also an investment portfolio but we must take into consideration what is the environment. There is no way we can grow in a way where there’s investment in full scale with no consideration of the environment because as years come by we will have to pay for that. So at this point in time in terms of the ports we have yet to see all the feasibility studies. We need to look at it, it’s looking a bit complicated but we’re hearing all of these things about NEAC so this of course the Blue Economy is there nothing to disassociate ourselves with anybody involved with that because we are strictly anchored by what is the mandate of the Blue Economy.”

Reporter: Do you support given that you know the construction of these ports may pose some kind of environmental threat ?

Andre Perez, Minister of Civil Aviation and Blue Economy: “Yes I agree with you but I am guided by technical advice. I am guided by my ministry to guide me in terms of what is the right way. We can have presentations, scientific evidence this is where we guide ourselves with Now if you ask my opinion for a small country of less than half a million and our country is very small and to have so many ports it’s something that we question whether it’s the right thing to do and I leave it at that. I am not too sure if it’s the right direction we’re heading but that is my personal opinion but I want to make it clear that I am guided by the evidence that is provided by my technical people in my ministry and where it falls and guides then we adhere to that based on scientific evidence that we get.”

Waterloo Investments Limited says it, “intends to fully exercise all its available rights including but not limited to the appeal process under the Environmental Laws of Belize, judicial review of a NEAC decision clearly tainted with illegality and irrationality and treaty rights under the Bilateral Investments Treaty between Belize and the United Kingdom..”