Belize is seeking new markets for its agricultural produce and a deepening partnership with Guyana could prove beneficial for both countries, Belizean Prime Minister John Briceño has said.
Prime Minister Briceño told the News Room that Belize has had much success in agricultural and food production, be it in the production of legumes, grains and vegetables or in animal rearing.
What has devilled the country, however, is the ready access to export markets. The Prime Minister said that some intra-regional trade barriers have been a bugbear.
“There are so many stumbling blocks so one of the things I was doing as Chairman of CARICOM is to have a serious discussion on how we can remove these barriers to see how we can grow more food.
“We do have the products available as it is that we can sell to the Caribbean,” Prime Minister Briceño, who is the outgoing Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said.
With Guyana now leading the push for greater regional food production within CARICOM, the removal of intra-regional trade barriers, specifically non-tariff barriers, has been a key priority.
Prime Minister Briceño believes that Belize can find new regional markets for its produce with this thrust. And, enhanced relations with Guyana may prove beneficial.
“We believe there is a lot that we can share.
“… we can also look at the issues of trade, education (and) cultural exchanges,” he said.
Already, Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali told the News Room that the Belizean Prime Minister is expected to visit sometime this week. The two countries are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will facilitate knowledge exchange and greater trade.
Prime Minister Briceño told the News Room that he is expected in Guyana on Wednesday and Thursday. He will be accompanied by his Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Courtenay.