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Marty Offline OP
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Belize and Taiwan have ratified an Economic Cooperation Agreement.

It's news we got straight from the source this morning when our Ambassador to Taiwan Candice Pitts stopped in at Sunup on 7.

She says that the ECA which has been in the works since 2019 has finally been signed, making Belize the last of Taiwan's SICA partners to enjoy the economic benefits it's expected to bring. Here's more:

Dr. Candice Pitts, Belize's Ambassador to Taiwan
"The economic cooperation agreement is an agreement that has been signed between Belize and Taiwan and we were awaiting its ratification. It has passed through what is known as the legislative UN in the parliament of Taiwan and we are only now waiting for the official signature of the president and then the ECA can go into effect and of course, besides tariff reduction and elimination of tariffs, the ECA would stimulate economic activities between the two countries like job creation, and really just advance trade and investment between Belize and Taiwan which in these economic trying times it would be, is very important to Belize, and importantly Belize is the only country from Taiwan's Central American allies that have not been benefiting from an ECA or an FDA(free trade agreement) or the ECA, so this is going to be very historic of course for Belize."

Ambassador Stays The Course With Taiwan

And the question of history would come up again in the discussion with Ambassador Pitts when she told our Sunup hosts how Belize was standing on the right side of it through support for Taiwan.

But while Pitts and the Ministry of Foreign affairs certainly believe that, Taiwan only has 14 allies left worldwide, with our fellow SICA country, Honduras, on the fence about whether they will maintain that alliance for much longer.

It begs the question should Belize also be thinking about making the switch? The Sunup hosts put that to the Ambassador. Here's what she said.

"We are now seeing that there are a lot of diplomatic ties to Taiwan that are cutting that tie, their cutting that in droves, why does Belize continue with that tie noting that all the others, well not all the others, but a lot of them have been cutting ties with Taiwan."

Dr. Candice Pitts, Belize's Ambassador to Taiwan
"Well, where Central America is concerned are the four countries that were a part of the Central American Integration System, S.I.C.A. were Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize, and of course, just recently Nicaragua had cut ties with Taiwan but I think to answer your question, one Belize has had its own history and experiences with hegemonic centers or with other countries that have been trying to exert control and make territorial claims, you know, of our country and so we have always been a country that supports other countries democratic aspirations, they're right to sovereignty and Independence, and so in that regard we do and so we would be hypocritical if we don't support Taiwan in its own aspirations for sovereignty and independence and so in that regard we support Taiwan and we will stand on the right side of history in that regard as well. As I've mentioned we have shared 32 years of friendship and what we want to ensure every day particularly in terms of our mission there in Taiwan is to ensure that our relationship remains mutually beneficial. It has been for 32 years and we want to continue. So I believe this is the reason why we continue to support Taiwan."

Taiwan's remaining allies include Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, Guatemala, Haiti, the Holy See, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, St Kitts, and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, and of course Belize.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Economic cooperation agreement between Belize and Taiwan goes into effect

Months after the pandemic gripped the country, Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed a mutually beneficial Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) on September 30, 2020. The agreement, signed under the previous administration, went into effect on Saturday, January 15th, and will provide preferential treatment for Belize's goods, such as key products from the agricultural and fisheries sectors.

The agreement will honor Belizean products such as lobster, beef, pork, chicken, juices, and sugar. In addition, the ECA grants preferential tariffs for Taiwan's products to Belize, such as flat-rolled steels, tools like pliers, wrenches, and screwdrivers, to name a few. The deal also covers brakes and cycle parts. On Saturday, the Taiwanese Embassy in Belize noted that the ECA would give a much-needed boost to bilateral trade and benefit both countries and consumers. The high-quality 'Made in Belize' products will become more competitive and accessible in Taiwan's market. This will help generate increased foreign reserve creating additional employment and business opportunities in Belize. The mutual agreement also provides financial and technical assistance from Taiwan to Belize to develop institutional and technical capacities involved in the trade. These areas will include plant and animal health, standards, and technical regulations.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

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