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Jun 6, 2018

Trade Minister Responds to CARICOM Sugar Call

Tracy Panton

And on the topic of sugar, Panton responded to statements made by Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño. On Tuesday, Briceño said G.O.B. should be doing more to export all Belizean sugar to CARICOM. According to Panton, Belize’s sugar has market access at duty free rates but what is lacking is market penetration.

 

Tracy Panton, Minister of State, Trade and Investment

“The Leader of the Opposition suggested that the Government needs to do more to ensure that there is market access for Belize sugar in CARICOM. There is market access; there has always been market access at duty free rates. So, what I think he was trying to get at was greater market penetration into the Caribbean. I want you to know that for the last three months or so, there’s a very active committee, which included B.S.I./A.S.R., which has included Santander, including the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade, been trying to have greater market penetration in CARICOM for Belizean sugar. There are standards that we need to meet. There is a quality that we need to meet and also there is the issue of competitive pricing, so we have been in active discussions at COTED which is the trade committee of CARICOM, in which we are trying not only for Belize sugar, but Jamaica, Barbados and other sugar producing countries in the region so that we can have higher tariffs for sugar that is coming outside of the region because sugar is such an important part of our national economy.”

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