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First Ever Trade Policy Introduced

First Ever Trade Policy Introduced
March 01
13:59 2019 NEWSPAPER -By Marion Ali- 

There is now a national trade policy in place that will govern how Belize conducts business over the next ten years.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Commerce, introduced the policy, which is a joint effort that the government, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and various statutory bodies engaged in over the past two years.

The policy is expected to improve Belize’s economy and eliminate the trade imbalance that we currently have and create greater market access. Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade, Tracy Taegar-Panton, told the media that the document can also better prepare us to deal with global trade shifts that affect the access our goods and services have to the world.

“We are currently working on an action plan, an implementation schedule that also takes into account all the key stakeholders in the public sector and private sector,” Taegar-Panton said. “We have always looked at our traditional goods and services but there is a growing demand, industrial hemp being one. Some of the side products that come from agriculture products, soy bean oil. There are value added products that there is a demand for and we feel that we are well poised to deliver to the international market so that is very much integrated in the plans and also how we integrate those new emerging products into our overall trade facilitation program.”

The anticipation, Taegar-Panton said, is to be able to minimize imports by having more local goods and services on the shelves and to try to export more of the goods that we produce.

President of the BCCI, Nikita Usher explained why the policy only represents hope to the Chamber. “It reflects our hope that there will be more proactive and genuine consultation as it pertains to responding to those international obligations that impact all of the guiding principles and identified policy pillars. It reflects our honest anticipation that when taking position, the cost implications to the private sector are not relegated.”

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