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Oct 21, 2019

Belize Hosts Taiwanese Agriculture Trade Mission

In June, a Taiwanese delegation came to Belize to look into investment opportunities in the Tourism industry.   Today, the Government, through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, along with BELTRAIDE, and in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, kicked off a second investment mission, this time for the agriculture sector. A ten-member investor team made up of Taiwanese nationals, who live in Taiwan and North America, will be travelling the country to visit different sub-sectors of the industry to give the investors a first look at the opportunities that exist. Today, we stopped in at the opening session for the trade mission and spoke with Minister of Investment, Trade and Commerce Tracy Panton.

 

Tracy Panton

Tracy Panton, Minister of Investment, Trade & Commerce

“This is to plant the seed; to show them Belize’s potential; to show them what is available and to expose them to what can be available. So, this is really the first step we hope to make to connect them with colleagues in the private sector here in Belize. They are looking at some of the sub-sectors that are investment ready – export ready – if you will. Some of the traditional areas, particularly, seafood is of high importance. They are looking at the opportunity for coconuts which is a new and emerging sub-sector for us and certainly some of the grains. You know Belize has very high quality grains that we produce in the country. So, we will be giving them a deep look at the existing sub-sectors  in agriculture but also more importantly the emerging ones, like cacao, where there is certainly a market in the food industry both in Taiwan and North America. I want to make the point that the investors who are here are Taiwanese; but some of them are residents in U.S, Canada and Taiwan.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, the aim of this is to try and attract some of these investors to come and invest in Belize?”

 

Tracy Panton

“To invest in Belize and to buy from Belize. As you know, we are in the middle of a negotiation with Taiwan for a partial scope agreement; some refer to it as an economic cooperation agreement where we can be selling more of our goods and services to markets outside of Belize.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How ready are some of these sub-sectors, Minister, for this kind of potential investment?”

 

Tracy Panton

“I think they are very ready. We don’t do a lot of value adding as yet. We export raw material and they do the value adding and that is imported back into Belize. So, we are really looking at how we can increase the value of our exports and open new markets and have access to new markets so that these sectors can grow.”


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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