By BBN Staff: Belize’s economy is in dire straits, according to the Belize Progressive Party (BPP).
The country’s debt has shot up over the recent years while its economic growth keeps plummeting, it said adding that the recent BTL arbitration judgement of almost $500 million adds unwanted economic pressures.
However, in the not so distant future, another issue will gnaw away at Belize’s economy, it noted. In the recent days, the world watched as Great Britain exited the European Union, deciding to reset its relationship with the entire world.
Analysts, experts and politicians have expressed that the Caribbean, including Belize, can soon face significant uncertainties and problems. The Antillean Media Group reports that the effects will be numerous: “a possible negative impact on trade and development flows; a diminution in the region’s ability to influence thinking on its policy concerns in Europe; a specific range of problems for the UK’s overseas territories in the region; and a long period of uncertainty as Britain’s foreign, trade and development policy is reoriented”.
The countries have about two years to formulate a plan to deal with these impending issues, perhaps less.
In a release, the Belize Progressive Party says that Belize can expect a probable reduction in importation of products such as bananas and sugar into Britain. Tourism may also be affected.
Given Belize’s already weakened economic situation, the BPP suggests that Belizeans demand immediate action from government to make improve Belize’s economic growth, suggesting investments be made in the productive and education sectors that will make local producers more competitive on the international market thus increase foreign exchange, “maintain employment, and save our numerous small and medium-sized farmers who remain marginally in production, and bring back those that may have been forced out due to lack of support”.
Other recommendations include a shift of “public sector funds away from the non-productive, excessive investment in physical infrastructure towards productive investment in human development, by first undertaking the aggressive and immediate improvement of our Institutes for Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (ITVETs) using the Orange Walk ITVET as a model, and addressing in a serious way the many other weaknesses plaguing our entire education sector”.
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