Wednesday, April 13, 2011


by Ray Auxillou, April, 2011.

The emphasis in Belize these days is to fit education and other government run programs in equipping a new generation of young people, to grasp the opportunities in business with trade. Our most likely markets are the Yucatan Peninsular of Mexico, our neighbor Guatemala and also Salvador. Between these three we have a ready market of around 40 million people. Unlike our small domestic market of 313,000 population.
While educated people with a tendency to go for the security of a government salary are dubious teachers of entrepreneurial skills and the need to take risk, save money to raise capital, or the most misunderstood concept of selling shares for cash to invest in an enterprise, this is basically the best we can do, to jump start, or pull our economy out of the doldrums of colonial exploitation thinking. The change is coming slowly. Very slowly, and we have a breather of about 7 to 10 years, thanks to the discovery of oil in small quantities in small ponds under our ground. It is not enough money coming from oil to actually put Belize on a solid economic footing, but it does give us some relief in financing the necessary infra-structure and expansion and everybody HOPES, improve the capability of government services to the public, to provide an economic trade enabling environment. The civil servants overwhelmed in many cases by their case and work loads, complicated by the greed of those who enter politics to feed off the tax revenue trough, like pigs rooting in a mud puddle, have a tough job ahead of them. Much harder than any before tackled by our tiny populated country.
Education levels have been rising as never before in Belize. Giving us a labor pool of thinking people, who have at least learned the basics of how to think, reason and do logical reasoning. They now after graduation can start to learn the real world of economics and trade. Education only teaches you how to go about real learning by trial and error.
I have always in my life found Belizeans very sharp about learning FROM EXAMPLE. You show anybody how to make money, they will copy you in a flash. COPY TIME FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS IDEA IS USUALLY 18 MONTHS. In the past, this created problems because our local market was too small to allow so much competition in the economic realm. However, the Foreign Affairs Department is starting itself, to learn the necessities of trade, treaties and other international obligations going with exporting things from Belize. Progress has been attained with a Partial Scope Agreement with Guatemala and recently as last week, with Salvador. We also have invitations to trade with the Yucatan Peninsular supplying basic food goods for their tourist trade along the Maya Riveria. As we start to access markets in the Yucatan, Guatemala and Salvador, our export capability spillover could end up in the Arabian Gulf, China, or even India. There are endless permutations and opportunites for our small capacity to produce. Whatever we produce is going to be a NICHE product, based on BRAND NAME, REPUTATION and as a RARE, GOURMET, EXOTIC, COMMODITY, that we will sell to the outside world. We cannot compete otherwise with mass production of large manufacturing capacities of big scale capital, or cheap labor of Asian countries.
The future is bright for our new generation of young people. We need some starter immigrants though, to come into Belize and start small businesses, as examples, so those without education can copy them. Unfortunately, the educated young people mostly do not wish to go into trade, but would rather have the security of a government salary. Sad to say, this has been the lesson learned by many countries, including the USA, and Canada to my knowledge, that it is through FOREIGN immigration INTO BELIZE, that we will find most of our future successful incubator start up entrepreneurs. I hope this lesson is not lost on our future politicians and civil servant types?

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