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Jun 2, 2020

Economy on the Ropes, Can It Rebound From Financial Shock?

Mark Lizarraga

With tourism taking a hit, the economy is in the throes of a severe depression and despite the gradual opening up of businesses, including hotels and restaurants, there is not enough money circulating internally for a timely recovery.  But what is the plan of action to ensure that there is a steady rebound in the months ahead, considering massive unemployment and financial losses in the wake of COVID-19?  There seems to be a continued government focus on reviving the tourism sector, even though there is a delay in the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport and international travel is not projected to rebound any time soon. Senator Mark Lizarraga says that the Barrow administration is yet to propose a comprehensive plan that focuses on the development of the country.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“We are primarily focused on or banking on opening up tourism.  We need to open it up; at some stage we need to open it up.  But when you look at it realistically, we need to deploy many new strategies which I have not seen as yet.  We have to certainly do our very best to flop that trade imbalance.  I don’t see, for example, or I haven’t heard a strategy on how we’re going to do that and that is important because that’s the fundamental.  Our message has been look, try to buy in Belize, support Belize, consume Belizean foods, Belizean goods and services because the money stays here and it doesn’t go out.  That’s one part of it, but there are many other pieces to this puzzle and I haven’t heard any of those proposed solutions.  On the contrary, the solutions that I hear or at least the plans that I’ve heard is that government is going to continue to consume a huge amount of the money that we are generating now and that amount has fallen tremendously, by the way.  That is not a plan I think we want to hear.  The prime minister has, and we’ve seen people from his very party come out with other plans, comprehensive plans I might say and it’s a travesty that those plans are just coming to the forefront now and many of them highlighting the many ills and the many wrongs that we have done in the management of our country and our economy.”


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