Debates between Lord Brennan and Baroness Hooper during the 2019 Parliament

Central America: Trade and Investment

Debate between Lord Brennan and Baroness Hooper
Monday 19th December 2022

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Brennan Portrait Lord Brennan (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, respecting the time constraints in the gap, I have three broad points to make. The first is on the need for international trade and investment for this country. Increasing trade is of the highest importance generally and in the dire economic circumstances that we are in in the moment—and, particularly, because of our Brexit responsibilities. Secondly, as part of this, surely, we should co-operate with international development banks which cover regions. They have the experience, the money and the will—CABEI in central America in particular.

Next, let us do something about it. In August 2021, the then CEO of UK Export Finance, Louis Taylor, signed an understanding with CABEI to co-operate—well over a year ago. He chose to describe it as a robust means of co-operation. What has happened, and what is going to happen this coming year, 2023?

Lastly, surely, we should co-operate with the areas in which we have long-term interests. Belize is a central American country that is a member of the Commonwealth, and it would welcome our participation. After Australia and India—one through complications and the other through delay—let us see action, if not this day, then at least this coming year. Central America and the Panama Canal is a centre of world focus economically. We should be there with them.

Baroness Hooper Portrait Baroness Hooper (Con)
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I am told that I am remiss in not having declared my interest as a trade envoy in Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. I thought that I had made it quite clear—but if it is necessary, I hereby declare an interest.