This week the Ministry of Economic Development broke out its first national consultation to create a National Trade Policy that will guide Belize on its development path leading to economic prosperity.

The panel of presenters showed itself to be well informed and progressive in looking for new ways for Belize to improve her export stance, given the inherent weakness of traditional agricultural exports – sugar, citrus, banana, fisheries.

In looking for a way forward Belize should heed the advice offered by economists of the World Bank and work with single-minded determination to establish a partial trade agreement with Mexico for cattle and corn and beans.

These are exports where Belize has proven expertise, and they are items that Mexico is looking to import because of problems with the Trump government of the United States.

Belize should be able to negotiate a trade agreement with Mexico, and such an agreement should enable us to double our production of cattle, corn and beans. These are all primary agricultural products, not the manufactured second generation items which we are looking for. But they are solid primary achievers, and they will help Belize to get where she wants to go with second generation value-added exports.

While taking care of basic agriculture for export, Belize should be giving full-focus attention to the possibility of renewable energy. In these days of the electric vehicles, sooner or later the focus of developing countries will shift from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy.

Preliminary investigation done by the late Ronald F. Greenwood in his book “Town and Country Planning Practice” suggests that thermal energy is a distinct possibility for Belize in the deep water off the Barrier Reef. He reasoned that if there is super-cold water at the bottom and relatively warm water on top of the reef, convection between the two would produce steam which could be used to power large turbines.

It’s just a theory, but it should be investigated because electricity generated on that grand a scale would be a game-changer for Belize.

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