Former Ambassador to the United States and the OAS John Beale, is now the Honorary Consul for Belize in Barbados.
Beale, who spoke to Barbados TODAY after receiving his official accreditation at the Ministry of Home Affairs, today, said during his tenure he will be focusing on strengthening the relationship between the two countries, particularly in the area of trade.
He said Belize which is almost 900 square miles, is well known for its barrier reef and is heavily invested in agriculture and the sugar industry.
“I think that there are some things that Barbados could possibly do with Belize in terms of trade. I know there are not too many people from Belize in Barbados and if you walked out on the street and spoke to 20 Bajans and asked them what they know about Belize, many of them would not have been there or know much about the country.
“So I think that there is a lot more that can be done in terms of awareness; in terms of people living in Barbados from Belize. There are very few, except for probably students. But I look forward to finding out if there is any interest between folks from Belize and folks in Barbados to do, perhaps, some more trade.
“The duty of anyone in the position of Honorary Counsul is to be the conduit between the two countries. I will assist in the groundwork as the facilitator,” he said.
Beale noted that he has never visited Belize, but stressed that he was proud to accept the invitation from the government of that nation, having had a longstanding relationship with Belizean Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington.
“Belize is a member of an organisation called CCA [Caribbean Cooperation for Accreditation], which is an organisation with only about eight countries in Central America. The OAS is 34 nations and if you add up 14 countries from CARICOM and eight countries from the CCA group, it means that if Belize gets favour from CARICOM and gets favour from their other partnership with CCA, with just a little help of just one or two people, they can pass pretty about anything that requires 50 per cent or more, so that’s good from a regional point of view,” he explained.
Beale served as Barbados’ Honorary Counsul to Brazil in 1976 under the Tom Adams Administration. He held that role for 11 years until he moved to the US to join the World Bank in 1987. He also served as the Honorary Consul of Uruguay in Barbados from 1997 to 2008 before he was appointed as Barbados’ Ambassador to the US by the David Thompson Administration in 2009. He remained in the role until July 2016.