Saturday, September 27, 2008
Myself, Ray Auxillou, the author picking a papaya outside my kitchen door, by the washing machine. My cousin Gustavo Pinzon sharing the photo, with a coconut tree in the background. We now have an orange tree bearing and a breadfruit tree loaded with breadfruit also. Lots of flowers and a nursery in the yard for growing lettuce and herbs.
It's a tough life retired living in Belize, but somebody has to do it.
Young Linnette Figueroa of Hillview, on the slope of narrow Green Parrot Valley has just got her new, two young brown and white rabbits to raise. She is a neighbor of mine, a corner away in our small suburban rural community, part of Santa Elena Town, supposedly. Around 1986, her grandparents and children came to Belize under the auspices of the United Nations Refugee program from El Salvador at the end of the Reagan sponsored CIVIL WAR in Salvador. Her grandfather had some terrible tales to tell of the human slaughter during this war. At any rate, Linnette is now third generation born in Belize, Belizean. Her mother was this age when she arrived with her parents, Linnettes now grandparents. They all live in one house. Her mother Betty, got married young and had two children and then her young husband died in a car accident. Betty, then a widow and her parents and the grandchildren were having a hard time of it. They lived off food they grew themselves. Ground food we call it locally. In order to provide Betty and her children with a job, the old man built a wooden shack to work as a village grocery. This later got expanded to a cement building and doing very well indeed, due to Linnette's mother's hard work and very long hours. The family prospered and her mother and brothers, all have their own piece of land now and small family businesses. They are entrepreneurs and pretty much have to be in the economic climate of Belize. The grandparents speak no English. Betty the mother learned English from taking private lessons and struggling, as she never went to school. They couldn't afford it. She learned to run her store, learned to add and subtract and even now does the bookkeeping for our Falconview Backpackers Hostel, paying contractors as a sideline. Extremely honest and conscientious she is worth her weight in gold to us at the Hostel, as we are very old folks. Linnette though, is the real hope for both the nation of Belize and her family. She goes to school, is bilingual and learning farming, grocery business and other business entrepreneurial skills first hand. Her mother bought a car and learned to drive, has learned to read by herself, learned English the hard way by herself, bookkeeping and other life skills without schooling. A cousin of the grandfather sold out in El Salvador and moved to Belize where he bought a DFC government house across the street, converting it to a cheese making factory and now is clearing 300 acres of jungle in the hinterland, and bringing in dairy cows, as milk which is needed to make cheese is insufficient in the country of Belize. These are the immigrant families to Belize that are the salt of the Earth and are building our new nation of Belize.
Monday, September 22, 2008
HAND GRENADE CASE
Police have not solved the thrown hand grenade mystery, that was thrown into the 10th Parade last week down in the coastal port town. The grenade did not go off. Oh sure, they have a confession, beaten out of a young boy, who may, or may not be guilty. The police failed to establish a chain of evidence, as required for a court of law. No magistrate worth their salt, could convict a boy on the basis of a confession coerced into signing by any method of brutality, without the presence of a lawyer. Our police department, and seemingly Belmopan Police Headquarters are as stupid as ever, working with methods used back in the time of King Henry the VIII. Unless they have fingerprints on the grenade by Richard Flores, witnesses, that saw him throw it, or a witness willing to say they saw him with it in his possession, or something legitimate, there is no case. The police department have RUINED the case against Richard Flores otherwise, guilty or not. The court case must be thrown out. Coerced confessions claimed to have been made under torture are not valid. Do they have any other chain of evidence? That is the the question, or they must let Richard Flores go. The USA attempt to teach the Belize Police a method of forensic evidence seems to have been a failure? They still use British monarchists torture methods of ancient times.
If the story of Minister Cardona in the Belize Times newspaper is true, then the Minister should resign his cabinet position and be consigned to the back benches. The story claims the Minister was in a traffic accident which he caused and fled the scene in Chetumal, Mexico. In Belize that would be a jailable offense. The Minister is required to give up his position in the CABINET. Not even referring to the SHAME and EMBARRASSMENT claimed in the TIMES story, for the people of Belize. This is not behavior needed in a CABINET MINISTER.
ECONOMIC STATISTICS ARE PUBLISHED
The Belize Times printed a flurry of statistics on the economy for this year, from the Statistical Unit of Belize. While the Belize Times is an Opposition party rag taking the negative view of some statistics. The information is useful. There were no surprises! Remittances from abroad continue to fuel the economy and imports of goods; far in excess of our nation to afford otherwise. Inflation is 7% in round numbers, which is dangerous and worrisome, but for the most part out of control of our local government. We could not find statistics on borrowing effects by the new UDP government this year, but the National Debt is expected to have grown by about 5%. This in turn is inflationary, but more importantly leads to a potential DEVALUATION. Between inflation and devaluation, things get very hairy for the economy of Belize. The slide either way in the overall debt ratio will point to either good, or bad money management by the UDP. I fully expect the news to be bad to a certain extent, and because of the loan borrowing incurred this year, for political party propaganda purposes, the debt ratio is supposed to have gotten larger. We did not see the debt ratio in the published statistics yet though. The UDP seem to have caught on, and the last two months has seen a switch from foreign loan borrowing talk, to GRANT methods of development. Which is a very good sign from the new UDP government. The borrowing this year is expected to set back UDP economic management schemes by about 18 months for prudent self sufficiency goals. The Belize Times the Opposition newspaper, took great glee in proving that the UDP Election promises were lies and pure hot air. None have been fulfilled, nor expected to be, as the election was a rebound vote against a perceived criminal corrupt PUP.
A very good article in the Belize Times by Michael Reid. He was formerly a politically appointed police press officer and very abrasive. Before that, he was supposed to have been a bad fellow in the USA, or someplace? In recent months his writings and vocabulary have been getting better. He could probably write better stories now than once infamous UDP writer, political party hack,Yasmin Andrews who has gone squirrely in her writings in the Guardian Newspaper since the election.
The study abroad program of Bainbridge College is expanding in Belize. Mentioned were Dr. Betty La Face and Ben White speaking at a Bainbridge Rotary club meeting. Dr. Le Face, is an Assistant Professor of English and also Assistant Director of Training Abroad. Library Director Bainbridge, Susan Ralph has a library project in Belize she is working on. These courses give credits for study abroad in Belize. We had Berea College of Kentucky ourselves at Falconview Hostel last Xmas and January, out in Western Belize Agriculture and Recreational Area for six weeks. More Colleges in the USA are using Belize as a STUDY ABROAD component for their students in a different culture. Colleges from New Hampshire and the University of Corpus Christi have used Belize for 45 years.
SALVADORANEAN COMMUNITY IN BELIZE OUTNUMBERS CHINESE IMMIGRANTS
There are about 30,000 Salvadoraneans registered living in Belize. They have formed a Community on San Pedro Island. In Western Belize agricultural area, most of them came originally back in 1986 during USA President Reagan’s Civil War in Salvador as United Nations refugees. They have turned into a valuable asset to Belize as we grow. They are into milk production, cheese manufacturing, cattle and milk cows and vegetables of many kinds. Their children have businesses in Belmopan and the Twin Towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio and the grandchildren are now bi-lingual young people of the third generation who will build our nation of Belize, when they get out of school.
TOURISM DOWN 5% FOR THIS YEAR IN BELIZE
May was a DEAD month for us at Falconview Backpackers Adventure Hostel. The Belize Tourist Board reported it was bad all around the country that month. Otherwise our gross revenue stream tripled for the 8 month tourist season year. We are still in the red, after the first two pioneer years in Cayo Western Belize. Our own philosophy has been to expand more upscale accommodations and we are increasing our number of furnished apartments, from one to three; while maintaining our bunk bed dormitory for the low budget backpacker explorer.. The low budget traveler trend did not materialize from our AUXILLOU FAMILY GROUP tourist facilities on Caye Caulker island. We did not get the backpackers we expected from Caye Caulker and Tina’s Backpackers Hostel on the beach there. Which does very, very good as a HOT spot for University age, partying student travelers. The tourist season past, was not bad by any means. It just fluctuated, but as the biggest earner for our government revenues, a 5% fluctuation has the government worried. The Western Belize Recreational Area adventure tours offered locally, are improving in quality, variety and services and this is reflected in increasing numbers of tourist visitors overall. Western Belize is now getting referrals from all over the spectrum of Belize national tourist resorts. We also now have a direct Cessna 172, three passenger charter service from Caye Caulker and San Pedro tourist islands arriving at the Twin Towns municipal Central Farm airstrip to order.
MAYAN, SAN ANTONIO TOWN IN CAYO DISTRICT GETS A PRESCHOOL
Nestled in a small beautiful valley, what forty years ago was a small thatch roofed, palmetto walled typical housing style, Mayan village; at which I once did magic tricks for the children, when traversing with tourist groups; has grown into a widely dispersed community of vegetable farmers, supplying both the Twin Towns and the nation, and now have posh cement houses, drive cars, trucks and trail bikes. Television and washing machines are not uncommon. Well the little village now a TOWN of sorts, still small in population, but uncommonly wealthy, now has it’s first pre-school. Built by the Village Council and inaugurated by Rene Montero the local AREA REPRESENTATIVE ( elected government official ), the new preschool has a student body of 45 young children.
GALEN UNIVERSITY OF THE, WESTERN BELIZE RECREATIONAL AREA
Galen University located just past Central Farm agriculture research station for the Belize government and next door to the University of Belize Agriculture College now has an official five years in existence. This year they have 300 students. They even get foreign students and also have arrangements to give USA recognized degrees in certain subjects with associated Universities in the USA, with which they have agreements and distance learning programs. The major partner in the USA for GALEN UNIVERSITY in Belize is the University of Indianapolis. Undergraduate programs in Belize are recognized by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in the USA. Foreign students are coming from the USA, Canada, England, France and Sweden. We had thought once, we would be a mecca for Central American students, but this never materialized. Chinese students once made up a big group to learn English, but this program has declined in recent years. Native Belizeans make up 90% of the student body. In my own lifetime, I have seen Belize go from a country, which had no people with even a Bachelors Degree, to two Universities now giving PH’ds, recognized abroad.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
ETHANOL PILOT PROJECT IN BELIZE BITES THE DUST !
The for an ethanol 200 proof, pilot project in Belize by the (NGO) bit the dust, over the cost of locally produced sugar.
In rough estimates, local is sold $3.25 per 5 lb bag in Santa Elena Town. You can of course probably get a 25% savings if buying in bulk. For estimating costs, it is better to use the higher figure as a yardstick, so you have built in savings for a feasibility study. $3.25 Bz sugar per 5 lbs, means a cost of .65 cents a pound for brown sugar.
Sugar is fermented by adding yeast and then heated and distilled to make ethanol. Assuming a rough figure to cover transportation, labor and firewood, the idea is to estimate 3 times the cost of the sugar, to find an end production cost figure.
It takes 15 to 20 lbs of sugar to make a gallon of 200 proof ethanol. Again for safety calculations, we will assume 20 lbs of sugar to make 1 gallon of ethanol. Gasoline sells locally around $10 bz, give or take a dollar. Locally produced ethanol would cost 3 production costs x .65 cents per pound of sugar x 20 lbs for a gallon. Or a gallon of ethanol would cost $13.00 bz in brown sugar to make one gallon. Muliplied by 3 to get a round number for production costs, a gallon of ethanol would cost $39.00 a gallon.
Obviously gasoline in Belize is cheaper to buy in Belize , than making local ethanol? So how do the Brazilians do it? In order to be competitive, brown sugar locally produced would have to sell for .18 cents a pound or less. Taxes are not included in this study. Something is wrong somewhere in the cost of sugar produced in Belize ?
This comparative cost study actually points out that local brown sugar is overpriced by 350%. .18 cents it should be retail a pound versus .65 cents a pound we are buying at. We actually produce sugar here in the country. The government often talks about the inefficiencies in the sugar industry and the outside world does too. Obviously our comparative pricing here, from what it should be to what it is; indicates that the Belize Sugar Industry is woefully inefficient. So how to fix it? I would think the powers to be would be working on that, as there is OBVIOUSLY room to work with here. If one was going to use expertise and government intervention, I would go with legislation forcing improvements in the sugar industry to make us world competitive. Why should we sell our trade preferences to the EU to keep a bunch of inefficient people in jobs? Doesn't make sense. They have a grace period, let them CHANGE.
Monday, September 15, 2008
A HECTIC WEEK OF CRISIS EVENTS IN
The two major crisis events in
The second crisis event was the toppling of a string of dominos, in that
A STUDY OF THE SUGAR AND BANANA EFFECTS ON
by Ray Auxillou, Sept. 14th, 2008
The debate over the effect of the EPA by CARIFORM and CARICOM countries in the Caribbean and the subsequent sovereignty effects on
The study of the effects of the Economic Partnership Agreement ( EPA ) through the banana industry in
The setup is strictly colonial imperialism, albeit done by a multi-national corporation system, based on steady supplies of bananas, banana variety and subsequent foreign corporate exported profits.. What we need in
The situation is hampered by the BLACK port town control of the political system and current outcries in the port media, against demographic changes by reducing black coastal populations leaving for Western industrialize countries. The banana workers are mostly Mestizo Honduran citizens who come to
We are experiencing the same effects to the detriment of developing the CAYO DISTRICT out in
The immigrant to
Friday, September 12, 2008
OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE: Source Lan Sluder, by way of Channel Love FM television in Belize, reported from the Government Statistical Unit.
- SUMMARY: SECOND QUARTER ECONOMIC RESULTS BOOM AT 7.3% in Belize
- INFLATION RISES ALSO AT 6.9% in Belize
The Belize economy had a blowout quarter in the 2nd quarter of 2008,
growing 7.3%. That's one of the faster rates of growth in the world,
and more than twice as fast as the U.S. growth rate that quarter.
Even China and only grew at around 10% in the 2nd quarter.
On the negative side, inflation for the 12 months ending May 2008 was
6.9%, the biggest annual increase since 1996. The inflation rate was
mainly due to increases in the price of food; fortunately, some food
prices have fallen back since the 2nd quarter.
BELIZE'S ECONOMY REBOUND FROM A BAD FIRST QUARTER
September 12, 2008
Belize's economy has seen an increase. That is according to figures
released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. A release from the
Institute says after virtually no growth in the first quarter of this
year, Belize's economy bounced back at seven point three per cent in
the second quarter to post growth of an estimated four per cent in the
first half of this year. The expansion was spurred by the wholesale
and retail trade and manufacturing sectors, both of which grew by more
than 10 per cent. After the collapse of the country's largest shrimp
farm, the fishing sector declined by 20 point five per cent however it
rebounded in the second quarter making it the third largest
contributor to the expansion of the economy during that period. Growth
was also recorded in the agriculture, transport and communication
sectors. On the downside the hotel and restaurant sector declined for
a second consecutive quarter. This reflects the continued decrease in
tourists' arrivals. The electricity and water sector also reflected a
decrease. This was attributed to the lower rainfall at the Chalillo
Dam which resulted in a 23 point four per cent in electric power
generation. As it relates to the international merchandise trade, from
January to July Belize imported 990 point three worth
of goods; this is an increase of 24 point five per cent or 194 point
eight million dollars from the same period last year. The most
significant spending increases were in machinery and transport
equipment which increased by 73 point eight million dollars.
Manufactured goods increased by 40 point eight million dollars and
mineral fuels and lubricants increased by . The
United States continued as the largest supplier, providing almost 34
per cent of total imports. Central America ranked second with 21 per
cent most of which were for the Commercial Free Zone in Corozal.
Domestic export earnings rose by four point nine per cent to 367 point
seven million dollars. The bulk of the increase was due to higher . Among the other major export commodities, only marine products
and bananas saw increased sales. Figures show that when crude
petroleum oil is excluded, there was a nine point two per cent or 25
point seven million dollars shortfall in domestic export revenues
between January and July. In value terms, the share of domestic export
sales to the United States of America remained at 30 per cent while
the percentage to Central America rose from 19 point nine per cent to
29 percent. The share of sales to Europe fell from 37 point seven per
cent to 31 point seven per cent. As it relates to consumer price
index, figures show that in May of this year, consumers were paying
six point nine percent more than they did in May last year for goods
and services in the basket. This 12 month change
is the highest recorded since August 1996 when consumer prices grew by
seven point four per cent. The most significant increases were in the
prices of food and beverages which rose by an average of 12 point
three per cent. The price of rice went up by 21 point three per cent
while the cost of flour and whole chicken increased by 51 point five
percent and 13 point four per cent respectively. Increases were also
recorded in the transport and communication sector as gasoline rose by
seven point eight percent per gallon and diesel by 35 point four per
cent per gallon.
OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE – Channel 7
- Internet sources
- Latin television stations on cable in Belize
In late breaking FRIDAY evening television news from
In the meantime, the
The Honduran Presidential palace is in turmoil, this Friday night, it is reported by television commentators on Noticias Channel 7 television. On Western Belize Bayman Cable, this is Channel 50. World War Three, over the World’s resources and markets is heating up. The European Union is trying to steal
Belize Economic Intelligence Service is a by-product of the Western Belize News Service and accepts anonymous donations by Postal Money order for assistance in doing economic research, benefiting
ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE UNIT REPORT ( Private Sector ) BELIZE
Western BelizeNews Service http://westernbelizehappenings.blogspot.com
In light of the European Union, contract, or Economic Partnership Agreement debate among CARICOM and CARIFORM countries, including
INTELLIGENCE DATA to date: SUGAR INDUSTRY
Humint intelligence - CLASSIFED SECRET ( In explanation of a SECRET classification, we refer to human sources of information whose identity must be protected.) The information is most probably in the public domain, but not easy to find for the lay person within
HUMINT: Sugar - Orange Walk town sugar factory, the only one operating is owned by sugar grower shareholders in a corporation called BSI. (
AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT: no inputs yet – bureaucrat not available until next week-
FOREIGN AFFAIRS DEPT. – no inputs yet
MEDIA SOURCES – no inputs yet ( considered to be OPEN sources )
INTERNET SOURCES: - no inputs yet ( considered to be OPEN sources )
SUGAR FACTORY BSI MARKETING OFFICER : About 110,000 tons of sugar are marketed. 12,000 tons are sold locally, while 98,000 tons are exported. Biggest buyer are Tate and Lyle, a
For the 2007 crop, the
Thursday, September 11, 2008
- BELIZE DEVELOPMENT TRUST ( NGO )
- VEGETABLE RESEARCH PROJECT
An NGO in Belize that has been doing volunteer work to improve the economy for the past 16 years. We have an electronic library on the internet, development issues subjects since 1992. This photo shows Ray Auxillou, with the third floor vegetable nursery, doing experimental research work in cooperation with the Government Central Farm Research Station. This year will be the third year for temperate zone tropical vegetable agriculture, using mainly temperate zone seeds. The first year was testing the hydroponic hand fed system in soil containers and the second year was doing trials in lettuce and tomatos to choose varieties suitable for the two major seasons by temperature in Belize. Four books have been published on the research and many new government policies and programs have been started utilizing the data found and collated.
Currently a new crop of lettuce and tomatos are being planted for winter season trials. It has been found that using water and nutrient feed, crops have no season in Belize and can be grown year round at any time. The only difference is two seasons based on night time temperatures, the summer and other, which do require different varieties. Planting times have been found and recorded for best success by months. Search for best working varieties is ongoing by both Central Farm Research Station and the Taiwanese Vegetable Mission to Belize.
- SEPTEMBER THE MONTH OF THE RAIN GOD CHAC, IN
This is the month of rains and so far we are just getting mostly night time showers. Not too strong, or too much, but enough to make the corn grow well. Many flowers are bursting out in beauty now with the rains and it is a time of planting winter crop varieties and to put flower cuttings into pots for transplanting into the ground. With wet soil, plants grow well, thanks to the seasonal intervention of our Belizean Rain God, CHAC.
- NATIONAL HOLIDAY IN
BELIZEFOR THE OF ST. GEORGES CAYE BATTLE
If you check the history of
What we have now in WESTERN BELIZE RECREATIONAL AREA, Cayo District, is a population mostly of MAYA and MESTIZOS of Mayan mixed blood and about 30,000 white Mennonite farmers, that trace their travels from
This government holiday of September 10th is accepted by all Belizeans of all ethnic cultures and races, but as far as parades and other holiday accoutrements, it continues to be mainly a BLACK holiday found down in the port towns along the coastline. The MAYA and MESTIZO population in Western Belize, accept the free government holiday with salary, but ignore the historical context of this battle, as it was just a skirmish between invading European WHITES, some with black slaves, over THEIR MAYAN LAND against a Spanish European group intent on conquest. The battle the holiday represents does not reflect the history of the Maya and Mestizo indigenous population of
In the last three decades, demographics has replaced BLACKS as the major population group, though they still control and dominate the government civil service and political process. The interior MAYA and MESTIZOS now are in greater numbers, as the BLACKS tend to migrate to industrialized countries and live in the cities there. The MESTIZOS and MAYA still do not have much impact on the political power structure of the nation of
A holiday is a holiday and
DEFENSE FORCE WILL NOT BE SENT TO HELP TURKS AND CAICOS BELIZE
Hit by several hurricanes,
It was reported on Caribbean News that the Turks and Caicos government had insured their infra-structure and loss of government tax revenues, while re-building from being hit by hurricanes. This year they got hit by two hurricanes so far and have received a hefty insurance company cheque for the Government of the Turks and Caicos. Sounds like something our government could do also, as currently a hurricane hit averages a loss of $150 million dollars on average to infra-structure damage and tax revenue loss while re-building goes on in
- HEADS OF CARICOM GOVERNMENTS POSTPONE EPA SIGNING AGAIN!
On the tenth of September, Caribbean News reports that Heads of Caribbean governments meeting in Barbados on the subject of the European Union, Economic Partnership Contract being shoved down our throats, in a shift from military colonialism, to economic colonialism methods, has been unable to agree.
Our Belizean Prime Minister has announced he will submit and sign the EPA, to protect the jobs offered by our sugar and banana industries. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is basically going to take
One can only compare the character and principles of the much admired strength of the leader of
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
You can see the size by the group of tourists in the bottom left hand corner of the photo. I first climbed this Mayan temple ruin back in 1962 and it still had jungle trees growing on it. We had to pull ourselves up by bushes and tree roots to get to the top. This is a classic area pyramind. The Mayan people still live in San Jose Sucttoz across the Mopan river and a few miles away also in Benque Viejo Town.
That ridge in the background is across the border in Guatemala. The photo is taken from the top of Xununtanich Mayan pyramid, on the top of a big hill, on the Belize side. The Maya still live here, in two towns. One is called San Jose Succotz at the bottom of the hill and across on a barge like ferry, hand cranked across the Mopan River that drains the Peten in Guatemala. The pyramid is for the last two thousand years, for the second Mayan Empire called the Classic period.
WHAT DOES THE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT REQUIRED BY THE EUROPEAN
Unlike the rest of the
With education certifications and degrees within
87% of our success in changing the way
Different government department bureaucrats have from time to time, told me of opportunities for export opportunities. The bottleneck has been the lack of young trained people with the ambition and drive to take advantage of them. I am continuously looking and testing young people to mentor. The thing is; character, drive and honesty are my requirements, not so much skills which can be taught if necessary. This is the problem of every business person in
To export, and build our economy, and create jobs we NEED customs tariffs, that can be adjusted by the Cabinet ( the legislature doesn’t work in
For example we have both materials and the knowledge to make chocolates for export in a niche gourmet market. We grow cacao and we have milk ( not enough ) and lots of sugar and molasses. Some cottage industries already produce these. We do lack young people who are entrepreneurs. Immigration should solve that. ( It takes about 15 years to do this, as one needs the second generation young people. ) What though, is the sense of starting a chocolate candy export business in competition with the rest of the world, and particularly the European Union, if we cannot compete? This story is endless, the opportunities I know of today are so many, I would have to lose 60 years off my age and start over. The revitalized Development Finance Corporation should assist in these entrepreneurial fields.
You have to consider ECONOMIES OF SCALE! Bigger markets like the EU, or
Let me illustrate by a personal experience. 40 years ago, I wanted to make cement blocks like they did in
The point is; how can you compare an EU small factory producing 2 million blocks a day, to a two man operation and machine producing 300 blocks a day, which serves our market size locally? Most newer entrepreneurial industries in
There are many other examples, but the point is; signing the EPA means sacrificing our future development and we might as well go back to the brain drain and train students for export. Reduce the population by exporting them and teach our government to live on reduced tax revenues. Going back to colonial days size and status. Make no mistake about it, this EPA is a momentous decision for
The argument offered on television by the Prime Minister is; that he cannot choose the EPA signing, predicated on the longer, or mid term future economy of
It is true, we are in a tip over phase of development. We do not yet have enough exports and the future is somewhat uncertain. Certainly all departments, both in Agriculture, business and education have been and are still doing their best to make available trained people to let us expand economically. The Prime Minister is right in a certain sense, that he must protect the NOW of $132 million of commodity exports. Is this EPA the only solution, is what I ask?
Monday, September 8, 2008
There were more questions left unanswered by the Foreign Affairs Conference held down in last week on the .
What was missing by the experts was the presence of Empirical data, comparative studies, profit and loss comparisons versus preferential tariffs. No statistics, prices, profits and losses, alternative choices, data, or other scientific method of marketing studies.
Some questions come to mind:
1) The only FACT given was the exports of banana and sugar are worth $132 million to the economy.
2) It was stated as FACT that we would lose our market for sugar and bananas if we do not sign the EPA. This sounds like pure scare tactics and nonsense of a bureaucracy that have not done their homework. Far as I can see, the ONLY thing we can lose is the preferential tariff? The market would still be there for our commodities unless they know something they haven't told us?
3) No attempt was made to quantify the amount between preferential and non-preferential sales prices. What would that be?
4) Look for the motivation behind this stampede to sign an obviously bad contract. Who profits? Far as I have been told, UK investors own the majority of profits for both sugar and bananas. So if THEY lost their preferential tariff profits, how much would THEY in the UK lose? $5 million, $10 million? How much from their or balance sheet?
5) What is world price and the differential if we do not get a preferential tariff?
6) Would we really lose the EU market? Explain why and how? What is the basis for this conclusion?
7) How much will our government lose in dollars for duty free EU imported goods?
8) If the WTO insists and ALL other countries demand the same customs treatment, we could lose ALL our customs duties for every other country in the world, according to WTO RULES we have been told. How much from customs duties goes to pay for our $476 million government cost? What would the amount of lost revenues be to our government? More or less than losses on the existing preferential tariff as a part of $132 million in our exports to the EU?
9) Explain what options and alternatives for these two crops our BELTRAIDE and Foreign Affairs department have sought and possibly found for sugar and bananas out of Belize? Who did the marketing studies and can we hear about them?
10) Why should our government and people accept a bad contract to protect UK investors profit margins?
11) Why would our foreign affairs department go to the trouble of disinformation with scare tactics on wages for Ecuadorian banana producers? Stating they got paid $2 a day? Last I read, a grower sub contractor got $2000 USA per acre of bananas, gross, before deductions for fertilizers and spraying. Did anybody in actually do the research on this EPA? Doesn't really seem like it.