Archive for October, 2009

Agreement to increase access to Belize and CARICOM markets approved by Guatemala Congress

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Despite an unresolved territorial dispute, Belize and Guatemala are going to implement an agreement that would partially liberalize trade between these two jurisdictions.

The agreement will be a mechanism used to boost the economies of both jurisdictions by means of expanding access to regional markets in Central America for Belize and the Caribbean for Guatemala.
Belize claims that it could boost trade to as much as $14 million by 2014, which is the year the agreement would be up for its 1st major review.

According to a press release issued by the Government of Belize, the main products benefiting from the agreement are citrus, tilapia, cattle, yellow corn, black beans, red beans, poultry and pepper sauce; however, this market is expected to offer premium prices relative to world prices. The agreement would provide new and preferential market access for Belize’s productive sector.

It is worth noting that in 2008 Belize imported 26 times more than it exported to Guatemala.

Ministers of Health of Belize and Brazil sign Memorandum of Understanding

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Minister of Health of Belize, Hon. Pablo Marin headed a delegation on a 3-day working visit to Brazil. The delegation will visit Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia in order to explore areas of technical cooperation between the Ministry of Health of Brazil and the Ministry of Health of Belize.

The visit was aimed to familiarize with the Brazilian health system so that the areas of cooperation were be identified.

The possibility of establishing a milk bank in Belize will be explored given the fact that Brazil is one of the lead entities in this area. The 2nd area identified for possible cooperation is expanding the National HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis programmes.

The memorandum of understanding was signed between the ministries on October 15 in Brasilia. It was signed by Hon. Pablo Marin on behalf of the Ministry of Health Belize and Mr. Jose Gomes Temporao on behalf of the Ministry of Health of Federative Republic of Brazil.

The 3-member delegation returned to Belize on October 18.

Local Governance National Policy officially launched

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

On October 14, an official launching ceremony for the National Policy of Local Governance was held in Belize at the grounds of the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) headquarters in Belmopan.

When addressing people, Hon. Gabriel Martinez, Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development pointed out that the Policy is aimed at reaffirming Government’s commitment to the people to decentralize governance through a defined local governance system, as well as to reaffirm and respect the current Municipal and Village Governance Systems. Also, policy guidelines for improvements are to be laid out and greater legal security is to be provided for the systems including the Alcalde System of governance in Belize.

Cabinet discusses Belize’s agreements with Costa Rica and Brazil

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

The Government of Belize issued a press released to announce that the Cabinet met in regular session on October 6, 2009.

The following issues have been covered at the meeting:
– Countrywide Consultation Tour by Public Service Minister,
– Belize City Council garbage collection problem,
– Proposed Framework Cooperation Agreement between Belize and Costa Rica,
– Proposed Memorandum of Understanding between Belize and Brazil,
– Food Crisis in the Republic of Guatemala.

As to the proposed Framework Cooperation Agreement between Belize and Costa Rica between the Governments of Belize and the Republic of Costa Rica, the Cabinet was briefed that the agreement aims to promote technical, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation, through the structuring and implementation of specific projects and programmes. The Cabinet of Belize agreed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade should engage in negotiations and sign this agreement.

Also, the Cabinet was briefed on a proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Belize and the Federative Republic of Brazil. This is the MUO in the area of health, which is expected to result in significant technical and scientific cooperation in the health sector, including such areas as HIV/AIDS, Communicable Diseases, and Climate Change and Health. The Cabinet of Belize agreed that the Ministry of Health should engage in negotiations and sign this MOU.