By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
To raise awareness about the Caribbean community (CARICOM) the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection held a workshop catering to the media.
The government press office and various media houses participated in the workshop, held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, which highlighted each of the freedoms available under the CSME and quantified how Belize has accessed these freedoms.
Presenter, Beginsford Codd, trade economist for the Ministry of Trade, explained that the workshop was geared towards assisting the media in marketing the CSME to Belizeans by explaining its benefit.
“We noticed that the media coverage of CSME usually gravitates to high level meetings,” Codd said, “the workshop explained to the media how the common man has benefitted and can benefit from the CSME”
The CSME presents five fundamental freedoms to member states: movement of goods, services, capital, skills (people), and the right to establish a business.
In 2009 Belizean Exports to CARICOM were $25 million, by 2013 the figure had grown to $90 million. Belize has maintained a positive trade balance-surplus with CARICOM valuing at approximately $40 million according to ministry statistics.