General / Weekend News

Belize takes up chairmanship of ACP Sugar sub-committee

LBy Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Belize will take the leading role in helping the sugar industries in the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries deal with the upcoming challenges of this year.

H.E. Dr. Dylan Vernon, Ambassador of Belize to Belgium and the European Union (EU), assumed the chairmanship of the ACP Sugar sub-committee this week, with only months before the European Union prepares to end preferential quotas for developing countries.

The ACP Sugar Sub-committee is comprised of 31 sugar producing countries across three regions, which lobbies with the EU to protect the interests of its members in supplying sugar to the EU market.

Several international financial monitoring organizations, such as Bloomberg, have projected that the sugar industry in countries such as those in the ACP group will suffer tremendous losses. The situation will be further frustrated, buy the projected surge of beet sugar in the EU market.

On October 1, the EU will remove quota restrictions it had placed on beet farmers, allowing them to provide the market with as much beet sugar as they can produce. The arrangement is expected to further drive down the level of sugar the ACP nations will be able to export to the EU. As he chair of the Committee, Vernon will be instrumental in the dialogues that the ACP nations will have with each other and with the EU, in preparation for the upcoming changes.  

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