PRESS RELEASE | "BREXIT to exacerbate Belize’s downward economic spiral"
Belmopan | June 30th, 2016
"BREXIT to exacerbate Belize’s downward economic spiral"
The $445+ million arbitration judgement for BTL, the $325 million waste of Petro-Caribe funds, and the $55 million from SSB are a few of the blatant, in-your-face, evidence of the present government’s mismanagement of the economy in the name of maintaining power at any cost. There are no medium or long-term gains from any of these bad decisions for our ailing economy and frustrated people, and the recent BREXIT only serves to compound this dire situation. Great Britain’s exit from the European Union means that Belize, the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean, and the ACP will now have a diminished power position when negotiating trade matters with the EU. The adverse effects on the UK economy includes the weakening of the pound sterling, now at a 30-year low against the US dollar, that will likely cause a reduction in importation of products such as bananas and sugar, and cause British tourist to switch away from visiting our region.
This negative external shock is a clarion call to all Belizeans to recognize the significant present danger of our worsening economic trajectory, with the Statistical Institute of Belize reporting a further contraction of our economy and an ever-increasing trade deficit. Belizeans must demand serious and immediate action by this government to urgently shift its investment policy towards our productive and education sectors. We need to increase the productivity (output per acre and quality) of our major exporting industries by investing in better technologies, especially at the farm levels in the agricultural sector. Such an approach will make us more globally competitive, earn needed 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.
We also need an immediate 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. Our economy needs properly trained technical workers that the ITVETs were meant to produce. These are urgent imperatives that cannot wait another day to be immediately addressed. Your BPP stands with you to save our precious jewel, Belize.
8867 Today 8867 Tomorrow 8867 Forever Belize, Sovereign and Free - NO ICJ!
END OF RELEASE