Prime Minister Dean Barrow went on an official visit to Mexico last October when he met with President Felipe Calderon. They agreed to expand the facilitation of trade and investment between the two countries and today a step was taken toward that goal. A contingent from the Association of Suppliers of Quintana Roo (ASQ) arrived in Belize for a three day visit to work out trade agreements with local businesses. The Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection has been working along with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) to make the connections. And Michael Singh, the Executive Director and Designated Chair of BELTRAIDE, says the ASQ members are ready to jump into business.

Michael Singh, Executive Director/Designated Chair, BELTRAIDE

“Today we have a trade mission from Mexico from the State of Quintana Roo, which is our neighboring state. The trade mission is being led by a group called the Association of Suppliers of Quintana Roo, which is a group of people that supply particularly the tourism industry in Quintana Roo with products that the consume. As you know, there are fifteen million visitors to Quintana Roo on an annual basis; that’s how many tourists they have. So all the hotels, all the resorts, all the attractions; these are the people that supply the products and services that they consume within that environment. So what that does for us is that opens an opportunity for Belizean providers to be able to access that market using these distributors. There are many products that we can produce in Belize and we can get into that market. And with the barriers we’re reducing with some of the bilateral agreements that we’re signing with Mexico, it helps us to have that one on one connection with the people that are distributing those products. So the opportunity today is that we have a visit for two days of twenty providers to look around and see what Belize has to offer to be able to take it into those markets.”

Delahnie Bain

Michael Singh

“So how soon is the actual trading expected to start?”

Michael Singh

“Well, I’m hoping that some of these suppliers and providers and buyers will be able to make some deals with their Belizean counterparts while they’re here. But the benefit we have is that Quintana Roo is so close that they can come back in a day or two days to do follow up meetings or Belizean businesses can easily go to Quintana Roo and have follow up meetings with them.”

A second interaction is scheduled for May and a Belizean delegation will head to Mexico in June for follow ups.

Channel 5