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Feb 3, 2020

Cabinet to be Apprised of Stevedore Concerns

Tracy Panton

News Five also spoke with Junior Minister Panton who says she will register those concerns with cabinet colleagues, including Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

 

Tracy Panton, Minister of State, Trade & Investment

“Certainly the concern has to do with their livelihoods, essentially, and the fact that we have had a drought and so there is going to be a delay in the shipment of the crop this year.  They also feel that they have not received the responses they hope for from both the sugar producer in the north, A.S.R. and from the Port of Belize Limited as it relates to some long-term plan to ensure that there is a sustainable approach to how we deal with the shipment of sugar from Belize and also how we deal with securing their livelihoods.  I certainly can‘t speak for A.S.R. or P.B.L., but I was able to share with the stevedores what are some of the things we have done to ensure that we can continue to have a sustainable sugar industry.  From my point of view, in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, and certainly the success we had at COTED in November with CARICOM member countries and the economic cooperation agreement we are soon to sign with Taiwan which has a quota for sugar from Belize that those things are part of the long-term plan.  There are immediate concerns, you know, the day-to-day bread and butter issues and so I will go back to cabinet and I will share those concerns so that the other relevant ministries who are involved in this conversation with the Ministry of Agriculture and also the Ministry of Labour.”


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