While contentions linger within the sugar industry, other groups have taken note and today the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a press release stating grave concern over the situation. As a major contributor to the country’s economy and a significant source of foreign currency, the BCCI states that quote, “any loss to this Industry will therefore have a dire impact on all Belizeans,” end of quote. They made that point by adding that from January to September this year sugar accounted for in excess of $108 million Belize dollars as a major domestic export. As a result, the BCCI asks that certain things be considered, starting with supporting the constitutional right of each farmer to negotiate on his own behalf under the right Freedom of Association. In addition, the BCCI stresses that Foreign Direct Investment finances economic growth and it’s failure falls directly on the Belizean public as taxpayer funds and employee contributions will inevitably be used to support and grow Belize limiting growth and increases our exposure to risk. Finally the BCCI states that discussion among stakeholders should already have moved to increasing income and productivity via improved technology and expansion. The BCCI ultimately calls upon both political parties to dialogue in a responsible and bipartisan manner, given the major economic impact of this Industry with calm and reason.
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