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Posted: Thursday, April 6, 2023. 10:11 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: At the invitation of President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Prime Minister John Briceño addressed the Anti-Inflation and Food Security Summit, held by a newly-formed Alianza de Países de América Latina y el Caribe Contra la Inflación (Alliance of Nations of Latin America and the Caribbean to Fight Inflation), virtually from his Belize City office on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister conceded that despite Belmopan’s efforts at leading Belize to economic recovery after the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine crisis and climate crisis and associated inflation have caused Belizeans to be, in his words, “unable to feel sustained economic relief as their spending power continues to be eroded by this generational cost of living crisis.” Previously he noted, “We, like others in our region, have been dealt a stark reminder that the diversification of our productive base and trading partners is key to building true economic resilience.”

Hence the necessity of this initiative and the opportunity to engage and construct solutions to regional trade and industry development issues plaguing Mexico and northern Central America to advance the goals of reducing poverty, promoting decent work for economic growth, and modernizing industry and infrastructure.

The Prime Minister listed various goals of the summit, which include reducing barriers to trade for an agreed basket of basic goods for our people; strengthening economic cooperation mechanisms that enhance trade facilitation, and increasing regional agricultural productivity to attain strategic autonomy in the selected food and services sectors; an agreement on a facilitation mechanism to combat inflationary forces and grow intra-regional trade; an industrial policy framework that gives meaningful support and incentives to enable investments targeting value-addition and access to established value chains or those to be created; prioritizing investments in science and technology to support the growth and resilience of the agricultural sector, and increasing the availability of financing accessible by the private sector.

The Presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba and Honduras all addressed the gathering, along with Vice-President of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez; Colombian Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism German Umana Mendoza and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Information and Technology Camilo Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines representing the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

 

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