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Aug 8, 2018

National Trade Policy of Belize Public Consultations

Terrence Simfukwe

The Government of Belize through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade is engaged in creating a coherent and effective trade policy, following the development and approval of a National Trade Policy Framework in 2016.  The idea of the trade policy is to stimulate, as well as contribute to the growth of Belize’s trade, both domestically and internationally.  This morning, one of three special review meetings was held at the Belize Chamber of Commerce conference room.  Trade advisor Terrence Simfukwe spoke with News Five about the extensive countrywide stakeholder consultative process.

 

Terrence Simfukwe, Trade Advisor, Commonwealth Secretariat

“This is one of the few upcoming consultations that we will hold, following the completion of our draft policy.  We studied our earlier consultations where we went around the country and so we gathered views, and after that we started our policy.  And so we finished our draft and so we have to go back again to the people that we consulted, to say we drafted something and so let’s discuss it and see if it looks like what you would have envisaged.  So it’s basically along those lines.  This is one of the meetings that we have held in Belize City to cater to people from the north and Belize District and we have others scheduled in the west, in San Ignacio and later we’ll go to Dangriga for the Stann Creek residents and Punta Gorda.  So that’s basically about the consultations that we’re having.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Speak to us a bit about the policy, what it aims to achieve and the scope of the policy itself.”

 

Terrence Simfukwe

“This policy is, it has a ten-year life.  When it starts running next year it will have to go and run for ten years.  Basically it has about five objectives where we want first of all to, it’s rooted in the GSDS which is talking about critical statistics, factor number one which is income and investment.  So that’s where trade fits in and the ultimate objective, if you look at that, is to enhance the way of life for Belizeans through trade development.  Now, that is the macro picture, but how do we drill those nitty-gritty?  So the policy has outlined a lot of processes and procedures and measures, for example, we have to look at how do we improve competitiveness?  How do we improve standards?  How do we improve our relations with the region and outside?  So it has focused on domestic issues, as well as external issues because trade happens at both fronts.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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