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CDB launches Belize Trade Program

HighlightsCDB launches Belize Trade Program

BELMOPAN, Sun. Feb. 13, 2022– The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, launched the bank’s Belize Trade Program and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)/CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) Standby Facility Projects this past Thursday. The aim of the projects, made possible through approximately US$1.5 million worth of funding, is to assist and enhance the capacity of trade-interfacing agencies like the Customs and Excise Department, Belize Bureau of Standards, and Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) as well as the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA). To accomplish this goal, the CDB will be supporting four projects implemented by the agencies, namely the Enhancing the Capacity of the Government of Belize to Facilitate Trade Project; the Development of a Risk-based Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Import and Export Control System for Belize Project; the Increasing Participation of the Belizean Cacao Industry in the Cocoa-Chocolate Global Value Chain Project; and the Enhancing the Belize National Quality Infrastructure Project.

The Belize Trade Program and the EPA/CSME Standby Facility Projects are expected to improve trade facilitation in Belize, something which Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, Hon. Eamon Courtenay, says plays a significant role in the Government’s commitment to enhancing the competitiveness of Belize’s economy.

During the launch, Dr. Hyginus “Gene” Leon, the pesident of the CDB, remarked that the bank recognizes its role in supporting development and reducing poverty in the country, and through the projects, will be increasing the prominence of trade-related initiatives.

“CDB’s relationship with Belize extends beyond five decades and remains closely aligned and focused on helping you, the people of Belize, to attain your Sustainable Development Goals. The bank, as the second largest contributor to the Government of Belize’s current suite of development-related projects, has clearly signaled our intent to sustain and increasingly collaborate with the Government and development partners to attain key social, economic, environmental, and institutional targets,” said Dr. Leon.

The program launch was a part of the CDB president’s week-long high-level mission to Belize, which began on February 7. Dr. Leon was accompanied by several other CDB staff, including Mr. Isaac Solomon, Vice President (Operations); Mr. Shelton Nicholls, Senior Advisor; Mr. Daniel Best, Director of Projects; Ms. Andrea Power, Coordinator – Regional Integration; and Ms. Cassie-Ann James, Communications Officer.

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