Getting our exports to CARICOM Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

The Directorate General for Foreign Trade DGFT is in a new push this week to boost our exports by informing the private sector businesses on the export process, export documentations required, trade agreements and other essentials. Along with EXPORTBelize they will be conducting a Trade Clinic this Thursday at the La Inmaculada Credit Union in Orange Walk. Just last week the DGFT had met with its Public-Sector Partners to review Belize’s Draft Trade Policy as part of a mandate to enhance Belize’s export opportunities and for good reasons.

DGFT’s is the national authority leading trade with a focus to linking the domestic supply chain to compete in the global market. It’s partner EXPORTBelize is a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), which is a statutory body of the Government of Belize under the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce. Both bodies have been working very hard recently to get more exports into regional markets such as the Caribbean Community. During this month discussions have been held between experienced exporters such as Western Diaries and the Poultry Association, who have provided valuable insights as to the challenges in entering the CARICOM market.

Ms. Shauna Arnold, Export Promotion Officer from EXPORTBelize has told reporters that products destined for CARICOM can be soy bean oil, palm oil, sun flower oil and turmeric.

Arnold also says that Belize can take advantage of exports such as sour sop concentrate and other juices for entry into CARICOM.

Mr. Duane Belisle, Chief Executive Officer within the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce has said that CARICOM generates significant export earnings for Belize.

“During the period 2011 to 2016 Belize had a trade surplus of 240 million Belize dollars. Currently Belize’s top exports into CARICOM are orange juice, petroleum oils, red kidney beans, black eye beans and of course raw sugar…”

Belisle also said “… in order to continue enjoying that trade surplus we must understand the environment that continues to generate this favorable outcome; thus we are eager to learn from the experiences of Caribbean Paper Limited, Western Diaries, Citrus Products of Belize Limited…”

Belize can benefit much from continuing partnerships with the CARICOM Single Market and Economy CSME. This body is a regional development integration that should create a single market and economy among 13 CARICOM Member States through the removal of restrictions such as fiscal, legal, physical, technical and administrative. (Work continues by the CARICOM Secretariat to complete the implementation of the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas signed in Nassau, Bahamas in 2001.) If all goes as planned and Belize’s productive base satisfies international needs for food safety at all levels, market access to CARICOM will continue to be assured.