Belize and Mexico continue to share good neighborly relations - and as you heard the Ambassador say last night - Belizeans spend tens of millions of dollars in Chetumal annually. But the trade relationship is imbalanced because Belize - historically - has had a hard time exporting legally into Mexico. Now, there's a whole lot of illegal cigarettes and cattle going into that country from Belize - but doing it the right way has proved challenging. That is the subject of a partial scope trade agreement that's been on the negotiating table for many years.
Yesterday, the Mexican Ambassador told the media that Mexico wants Belize's beef:...
H.E. Carlos Quesnel - Mexican Ambassador to Belize
"We know from many conversations with many people here from different companies that there are certain products they are more interested in bringing to Mexico, in the case of sugar, in the case of meat etc."
"We've got at least 3 cattle's sweeps to make sure that our cattle are free from sclerosis."
H.E Carlos Quesnel - Mexican Ambassador to Belize
"Certainly, there is high tax that is that is around 15 percent. That makes it expensive for Belizean exporters to send the cattle to Mexico and this is something that we have to work on the, the partial scope agreement. These are the kind of things that we can work on together. We need your meat, we have a huge market there. We import meat from other countries, so we are not against bringing meat from Belize on the contrary we need the meat from Belize and we would like the meat form Belize to come into Mexico, but we have to make an agreement first because there is no commerce agreement that allows taxes to go down."
Historically, Mexico has been a major market for Belize aquaculture products - that is until our shrimp industry was wiped out by disease.