Integration and Trade in Belize

Umaña, Mario;
Vasco, Oscar;
Martínez, Gonzalo;
Fernández, Ernesto;
Feb 2014
This Technical Note provides an assessment of Belize's trade sector and offers some policy options. Major constraints are related to a limited export basket and concentrated destination markets, high tariff levels with high dispersion, conservative trade agenda, weak institutional capacity, trade facilitation problems, and sanitary and phytosanitary shortcomings. Moreover, the country needs to make changes to fiscal incentives related to trade performance before the deadline established by the WTO of December 2015. Policy options include: (i) efforts in trade liberalization, to include reduction of tariffs, reduction of trade licenses, and elimination of environmental tax and revenue replacement duties; (ii) measures to strengthen the institutional capacity (trade and agriculture); (iii) a menu of options for a new generation of incentives; (iv) nonfiscal measures to increase export performance, particularly in the services sector; and (v) options to enhance trade facilitation and reduce cost of trade in goods.