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Mar 4, 2019

NICH Wants Industry Legislation to Help Artisans

Greg Vernon

The M.O.U. with Panama will help to boost the handicraft and theatre offerings. But one of the challenges local artisans face is the importation of small souvenirs, which are mass produced in other countries where production costs are low. Director of the Institute of Creative Arts Greg Vernon says that this makes it difficult for hand-made pieces to compete with these cheaper, imported products on the market. Vernon says work on a piece of legislation is underway to try to address this growing issue for artisans, which noted will also help to raise the value of Belize’s cultural experiences and offerings through authentically made pieces.

 

Greg Vernon, Director, ICA

“We are working with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, along with NICH, working on an industry legislation that will deal with all that. Making sure that by the next six months we will be pressing this to Cabinet to say that we need an industry legislation that would deal with that matter; deal with the import coming in. We at NICH need to make sure that we educate our customs officers and border management to make sure that once you come across selling these products that you are taxed. We will be putting in that legislation making it easier for artisans and artists to get their materials; what is a hundred percent Belize; eighty-percent Belize; what is sixty percent Belize; what is twenty percent Belize. It’s making sure we are at least eighty percent Belize in materials; picking up the wood, the stones, the sea glasses, picked up out of the wood of Belize in making this happen.”


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