International Relations Expert, Dr. Victor Bulmer- Thomas and his wife Barbara Bulmer Thomas are back in Belize for a pair of public lectures. He will present his address tomorrow at the UB Jaguar Auditorium on the subject "Belize, Central America and the Caribbean: Past, Present and Future." Bulmer Thomas told us he will analyze why Belize has failed to capitalize on its position in three different regions. He explained:

Dr. Victor Bulmer, International Relations Expert
"Belize is a part of three regions; Caribbean, Central America and Mexico if we can think of Mexico as a region but it isn't integrated with any of these regions in the way that you might expect because of its geographical position. Belize is legally tied into the Caribbean through Caricom and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy but somehow it's not taking advantages of its geographical position to integrate itself more fully into the other two regions that I have mention. However if you look at the recent figures you will see that Belize is importing a lot more from Central America particularly from Guatemala and El Salvador and a lot more from Mexico. It's not yet exporting, so the question is what Belize needs to do in order to have a more balance relationship with its neighbors that it currently has."

Jules Vasquez
"We are unable to capitalize on this proximity we have in Central America and in we have in CSME - we are unable to harness that because of the mediocrity of our institution."

Dr. Victor Bulmer, International Relations Expert
"I am a foreigner and I am not going to come here and bad mouth Belizean institutions but I think you are being unfair because the problem is not the institutions that are preventing Belize from integrating more deeply into Central America and Mexico, the problem is the legal arrangements with Caricom are such that it is very difficult for Belize to integrate more fully with the other regions of which it's a part. We spoke about the partial scope agreement; as I said that require a waiver from the Caricom states. Belize should be able to act more independently with more autonomy to take advantage of its geographical position. It's very privilege, not many countries in the world are members of different regions at the same time - Belize is and it needs to take advantage of that."

His lecture will be held in Belmopan at 2:00 pm on Wednesday January 16th.

Barbara Bulmer- Thomas will present on: "Plants and People: The Belize Botanic Station and Bio-prospecting" tomorrow at 6:30 pm at the UWI Open Campus Lecture Hall in Belize City.

Both lectures are free.

Channel 7