Belmopan, 13 November 2008.- The Embassy of Mexico informs that on 12 November 2008, a meeting was held in Chetumal, Mexico, between Belizean officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Belize Livestock Producers Association, as well as Mexican officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food of Mexico (SAGARPA) and the Embassy of Mexico to Belize.

The purpose of the event was to explain in detail the sanitary and phytosanitary procedure and regulations that need to be met for the entry of animal, vegetable and fish products into Mexico. The Mexican requirements on imports are the same as those established by international organizations and which Mexican products need to comply with in order to export to other countries.

Mexican officials highlighted that Belizean livestock and other agricultural products have high probabilities of being exported to the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, where most of the local demand is supplied by products from Northern Mexico and from third countries. In this regard, exports of Belizean products to Mexico should fulfill two basic requirements. The first is that Mexican and Belizean agricultural health authorities need to be recognized by each other. The second one is to set a risk map which would allow a reciprocal recognition of disease-free areas.

The Government of Belize agreed to formally submit a request before SAGARPA in order to register BAHA as the official agricultural health authority of Belize. Both countries also agreed to meeting again in Belize on February 2009.

The meeting was led by Mr. Arturo Bolaños, SAGARPA’s representative to Quintana Roo, Mexico, and from Belize, Dr. Victor Gongora, Animal Health officer of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). Participants at the meeting included Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Luis Manuel Lopez-Moreno, and Ambassador Adalbert Tucker, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize.