Aid for Trade

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| 2010|
| Government of BelizeMinistry ofForeign Affairs and Foreign Trade|

Bridging the gap in development assistance: Belize’s Aid For TRADE STrATEGY| The Aid for Trade Strategy is designed to support the government in the identification of priorities for building trade capacity, improving coordination between ministries, designing and monitoring an evaluation mechanism, and initiating a dialogue with donors and investors, whether local or foreign. The priorities have been identified as: Trade Facilitation, Logistics and Customs; Implementation of Trade Agreements and Regional Integration; SPS and Standards and Technical Regulation; and Private Sector Competitiveness. Validated by the government and non-state actors, the proposed interventions will help in promoting trade and investment in fulfilment of the strategy’s purpose.|

Table of Contents
I.INTRODUCTION2
II.TRADE SNAPSHOT4
2.1Macro Environment4
2.2Structure and Pattern of Trade5
2.3Trade Arrangements/ Regional Integration8
III.SECTORAL AND CROSS-SECTORAL CHALLENGES12
3.1Financing12
3.2Transportation12
3.3Standards and Technical Regulations13
3.4Trade Facilitation and Logistics13
3.5Trade and Gender14
3.6Climate Change and Trade15
3.7Poverty16
IV.EXISTING DONOR SUPPORT AND AID FLOWS16
V.MAINSTREAMING17
VI.IDENTIFICATION OF PILLARS AND RECOMMENDATIONS18
6.1Infrastructure and Trade Facilitation18
6.2Regional Integration /Implementation of Trade Agreements19
6.3SPS/Standards and Technical Regulations20
6.4Private Sector Competitiveness21
VII.IMPLEMENTATION23
VIII.MONITORING AND EVALUATION24
*

INTRODUCTION
Belize is a small, open economy with a traditional agricultural base and an expanding services sector. In 2009, it had a GDP of US$1,353 million and a per capita GDP of US$4,062. Its geographic location in Central America and historical links with the Caribbean enable it to develop and sustain networks of economic cooperation. As a full member of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Belize is considered to be the bridge between the two sub-regions. Preferential trading arrangements and agreements, such as the United States’ Caribbean Basin Initiative and the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), are fundamental to Belize’s trade performance. Fluctuations in world commodity prices also affect actual trade performance. Belize’s main traditional export commodities fall within a narrow range of products: sugar, bananas, citrus fruits, shrimp, and fish. Prior to 2006, sugar, citrus fruits, bananas, and fish accounted for more than 12 percent of GDP. By 2008, the erosion of preferential market agreements with the United States and the European Union and the discovery of petroleum in 2006 led to a decrease in share for these goods to 10 percent of GDP and 40 percent of total exports. Petroleum exports accounted for 40 percent of total export earnings in 2008. Thirty-nine percent of agricultural exports are exported to the United Kingdom and 32 percent are exported to the United States. In the last five years, trade between Belize and Central America has increased by more than 300 percent, although exports of crude oil account for the bulk of this expansion. Various factors led to the erosion of the nation’s economic performance in the past decade, including changes in fiscal policy, the impact of a number of hurricanes, and the imminent loss of global preferential markets for the country’s main export commodities. Belize’s debt-to-GDP ratio exceeded 100 percent in 2004. A program of fiscal adjustment has been put in place to halve the debt ratio by 2019. The government of Belize is implementing measures to enhance both export capacity and diversification, and the adoption of a national Aid for Trade (AfT) strategy is crucial to this process. Such a strategy can address...
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