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Aug 5, 2019

W.T.O. Hosts Trade Negotiations Skills Training in Belize

The Directorate General for Foreign Trade, with support from the World Trade Organization, is hosting over twenty government officials in the ‘Advanced Trade Negotiations Simulation Skills Training’ this week. The purpose of the training is to deepen the participants’ understanding of how the concept works in practice. It will provide them with the skills and knowledge to come up with strategies and tactics for trade negotiations, as well as techniques to monitor and manage the negotiating process. News Five stopped in at today’s opening. Here’s the story with Andrea Polanco.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The World Trade Organization is carrying out a one-week trade negotiations training course in Belize. The Directorate of Foreign Trade is hosting the skills training sessions, for several government trade support agencies to learn how to improve their negotiating skills.


Andy Sutherland

Andy Sutherland, Director General, Foreign Trade

“Given the cross cutting nature of trade, it affects various other disciplines; the customs department and the disciplines under the CO and rules of origin is a key component as well. It deals with technical regulations such as SBS and technical barriers to trade, which are under the purview of BAHA and the Bureau of Standards. It also touches on institutional issues, which is mostly legal matters which is under the AG’s Ministry. But we also have agriculture here and other institutions that form a support system for trade negotiating. As such, this initiative is to find tune the team to be able to address and expand the trade mandate for Belize.”


Professor Dickson Yaboah of the World Trade Organization is facilitating the workshop. He says the participants will learn about the win-win concept of trade negotiations. They will learn other international best practices and strategies to monitor and manage negotiations so that they are well prepared to strike the right deal.


Dickson Yaboah

Professor Dickson Yaboah, Intensive Trade Negotiations Skills Unit, W.T.O.

“We need to explain the important of secrets of negotiations and the secret is to harmonize the interests of negotiating partner and to bring out prominently the common advantage of any proposal that Belize puts on the table and to link these advantages so that they appear equally balanced to both countries. Therefore, in the preparation of Belize’s negotiating team, they need to take into account the interest of Mexico in Belize. We can use our embassy consulate in Mexico to feed the negotiating team in Belize what their interests are in our beautiful country. They can also use the universities and research institutions to research our negotiating partners’ interest in Belize. We need to harmonize the farmers’ interest in Belize; private sector entities; the academia; so that when the Belize negotiating team is at the table they are well prepared and have all the parameters before them to strike a deal and reach a win-win outcome.”


Director General Andy Sutherland says that the training will impact the Belize’s economic development. The participants will use the skills and strategies they learn in this workshop to help Belize with more market access and other trade opportunities.


Andy Sutherland

“Trade negotiations is at the fore-front of economic policy and other member states of the WTO take trade negotiations very seriously and they prepare extensively because on the back of trade is economic development. And that is the denominator as to why we are here; economic development through improving Belize’s trade agenda performance internationally.  The negotiating agenda for Belize is quite packed and this training for Belize is like a tuning for  the negotiating team because when we approach these negotiations we want to be a cohesive unit that is in sync, that can strategize and organize and that can deliver the best outcome for Belize.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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