The current impasse with the informal exports of cattle and other commodities into Peten, Guatemala, unless resolved, will cause a fundamental impact on our domestic food security. In order to understand the reason for this informal trade, a review of the Partial Scope Agreement with Guatemala is important.
In this Age of Isolation, it means that in our own nation of Belize, we must reinvent ourselves. It means that Government, political parties, the private sector, and civil society must put aside petty squabbles and join hands in crafting a new nation that can operate and thrive self-sufficiently inside our proverbial national isolation ward.
While we take for granted that the ubiquitous corner Chiney Shop, open anytime, is convenient, this shift in retail control has led to the virtual demise of traditional distribution channels and has significantly impacted the health of our population, taxation, building standards, and the environment.
This segment of the economy, not in the shadows but open for all to see, represents a parallel existence of a separate culture, interacting with Belize purely for the profit that it brings, minus the burdens of tax, crime, or financial controls that the rest of Belize bears.