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Belize to host forum on Mesoamerica’s Atlantic Coast and Plan Puebla Panama

The government of Belize will host on Dec. 1-2 in Belize City a forum on the development and integration of Mesoamerica’s Atlantic Coast that will bring together delegates from national and local governments, public and private sector enterprises, civil society organizations and indigenous and Afro-Caribbean communities.

The event organized by Belize’s Office for Plan Puebla Panama will offer participants an opportunity to discuss and analyze the development opportunities and challenges for the Atlantic Coast regions of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.

These eight countries are carrying out Plan Puebla Panama, a regional undertaking to strengthen integration and cooperation. The plan includes joint projects to upgrade the region’s physical infrastructure and facilitate intra-regional trade, as well as to promote sustainable development, human development and natural disaster prevention.

During the Belize City forum participants will discuss issues such as sustainable development and environmental protection in border areas, economic and social development in indigenous and Afro-Caribbean communities, the region’s potential for sustainable tourism and air and maritime transport along the Atlantic Coast.

The forum’s sessions will begin with brief introductory presentations followed by open discussions among participants. Most of the second day will be devoted to meetings and presentations on issues selected by participants.

The event seeks to foster an open dialogue among all sectors of the Mesoamerican Atlantic Coast about the region’s development, with the goal of identifying opportunities and priorities and shaping a common agenda.

Belize’s Chamber of Commerce, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Inter-American Development Bank are assisting in the organization of the forum.

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