June 8, 2006, 11:24PM
Houston eyes goods from Belize
By JENALIA MORENO
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Belize has bananas, cashews and papayas, and Houston-area officials want to help it export them to the Bayou City.
The one-year-old Tri-County Black Chamber of Commerce is trying to help its 90 members from Harris, Fort Bend and Galveston counties become trading partners with colleagues in the Caribbean, Africa and other regions. The chamber's first partnership is with Belize, which last year traded $44.9 million worth of seaborne cargo with Houston.
For now, much of Belize's sugar, shrimp and other agricultural products are shipped to Miami. But Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya said she would like Houston to also serve as a gateway for imports from the small nation.
Moya and Belize business owners are visiting Houston to promote their nation during the chamber's International Business Opportunity Conference being held today at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Known as a tourism destination, Belize is trying to increase its exports. Every other Central American nation has either signed or is negotiating a trade agreement with the U.S.
Chamber officials want to partner with Liberia next and enhance trade between the Houston area and that nation.