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August 2015

PRESS RELEASE: THE BELIZE SHRIMP INDUSTRY PLOTS ITS WAY FORWARD


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August 13, 2015 – Belmopan, Belize. The shrimp industry in Belize is this week more certain of the way forward to addressing some of its challenges and how the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) can help producers, processers and distributors improve quality and possibly increase exports.

This follows an intensive three-day CALIDENA Diagnostic workshop that was the result of collaboration on the shrimp industry between the BBS, its regional umbrella body – the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and funders, the International Technical Cooperation Department of the German Metrology Institute (PTB).

The CALIDENA methodology under the CROSQ-implemented and PTB-funded project – Establishment of a Demand-Oriented and Regionally Harmonized Quality Infrastructure in the Caribbean (RQI 4), has been focussed on improving the quality infrastructure in agriculture-related value chains among the CROSQ Member States. The term “value chain” is based on the concept that the value of a product is created at various stages in production, and looks at all the steps from creation to market, as well as the relationships behind the companies involved in developing the product.

Belize is one of four countries in the second round of the RQI4 project to be chosen for the strengthening of a value chain, and the country chose its shrimp industry.

The workshop ran from August 5 – 7, 2015, at the George Price Centre in Belmopan, and concluded with a trip to the Belize Agriculture Limited (BAL) shrimp processing plant in Placencia, in the south of Belize. Approximately 20 participants spent the first day of the workshop learning about quality infrastructure and the history of the shrimp industry, conducting analyses of the state of the industry. The second day examined the legislations and regulations central to the shrimp value chain’s operation in Belize, regionally and internationally, while the third day examined a real operation and a GAP analysis of the industry, with a committee being formed to spearhead actions to closing the gaps and correcting the deficiencies found.

By the end, the group had identified challenges pertaining to technical regulations and inspection; standards and certification; laboratory and accreditation services; and metrology and calibration services. Among the needs found in technical regulations and inspection were – inspection services; standards and certification recommended frequent monitoring by a certification body, training in quality systems; in laboratory and accreditation services – an accredited laboratory facility, communication with and among stakeholders, particularly the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the BBS, training of auditors, and they wanted services in temperature and the calibration of scales as well as accreditation of calibration services to help facilitation of trade in the metrology and calibration area.

These and other needs were outlined in the action plan that is devised at the end of such CALIDENA diagnostics, and in addition to identifying persons to sit on the implementation committee, they also determined why these were the challenges they found with QI services, how these challenges could be addressed and by whom, along with timelines.

The committee is now set to meet before the end of the month to begin plotting how it will implement some of the actions decided on during the Diagnostic workshop.

Director of the BBS, Mr. Jose Trejo expressed thanks for the intervention into the shrimp value chain and noted that the bureau was excited and looking forward to the implementation process of the actions decided.

President of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, Mr. Alvin Henderson said, “I think (the CALIDENA) has brought a lot of clarity to something that is increasingly urgent for us as a country. About two months ago I raised the issue with BAHA about the need for us to have an accredited lab, and it is moreso urgent now.”

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For further information, please contact:

Ms. Latoya Burnham

Technical Officer, Communication & Information

CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)

Direct: 246-622-7671

Tel: 246-62-CROSQ (27670)

Email: latoya.burnham@crosq.org

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EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: “CONSULTANCY FOR LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING FOR REGULATIONS UNDER THE DRAFT ANIMAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTION”


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The Government of The Bahamas is undertaking an exercise to modernize the agricultural health legislation. The legislation seeks to implement the obligations in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and incorporate the principles of the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO) into the legislative framework.

The Government of the Bahamas hereby invites Interested Parts to submit their Expression of Interest in conducting the Consultancy. Below is the link to view the Consultancy Terms of Reference.

EOI-ANIMAL LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING The Bahamas

Caribbean Seeks to Provide Additional Support to Existing Investors


Participating IPAs included: Invest Barbados, the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA), the Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), the Centre for Facilitation of Investments in Haiti, Invest Saint Lucia (ISL), Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), InvestSVG (St. Vincent & the Grenadines), the Investment and Development Corporation of Suriname (IDCS), and iInvesTT (Trinidad & Tobago).
Participating IPAs included: Invest Barbados, the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA), the Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), the Centre for Facilitation of Investments in Haiti, Invest Saint Lucia (ISL), Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), InvestSVG (St. Vincent & the Grenadines), the Investment and Development Corporation of Suriname (IDCS), and iInvesTT (Trinidad & Tobago).

Targeting existing investors to reinvest in the Caribbean and creating linkages in the domestic economy between investors and local suppliers to drive investment growth were issues at the centre of the strategy recommended to the region’s’ Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) at the recently held workshop facilitated by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) on 27-28 July in St. Lucia.

During the workshop, 22 representatives from 11 IPAs across the Caribbean region were exposed to best practices in facilitating existing investors and in key account management. “It takes up to 3 years to secure an investment from a greenfield project”, noted the CAIPA President, McHale Andrew of Invest Saint Lucia, “but it can take as little as 1 year to secure additional investments from an existing investor. With the current challenges of reduced promotional budgets and a demand for increased foreign investment and jobs, it seems logical that we seek to engage further with those investors who have already partnered with us”, continues the CAIPA President.

The training forms a part of initiatives undertaken through the provision of funding assistance by the Inter-American Development Bank under a Regional Public Goods Programme entitled “Support for Foreign Direct Investment in the Caribbean.” The main objective of this project is to assist the Caribbean Investment Promotion Agencies in the positioning of the region as a location for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to present the Caribbean as a single investment destination. The project is jointly financed with Caribbean Export and CAIPA.

During the workshop, it was highlighted that already a significant portion of investments into the region come from reinvestments but these figures are not monitored nor incorporated as FDI. The training of the IPAs forms part of a broader initiative to develop a reinvestment programme for CAIPA and to track reinvestment figures within the Caribbean. Preliminary results from a survey of existing investors, which forms a part of this project, indicates an interest or plans by more than 50% of existing investors to expand within the host country or within the region. “Moreover,” notes the Executive Director of Caribbean Export, Mrs. Coke Hamilton, “the region’s best ambassadors and attractors of new investors are our existing investors. We treat them right, and we are already halfway to reaching our investment, jobs and export targets.”

This initiative will see the development of strategies within regional IPAs to address the needs of existing investors and to assist them in expansion plans across the region.  Participating IPAs included: Invest Barbados, the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA), the Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), the Centre for Facilitation of Investments in Haiti, Invest Saint Lucia (ISL), Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), InvestSVG (St. Vincent & the Grenadines), the Investment and Development Corporation of Suriname (IDCS), and iInvesTT (Trinidad & Tobago).

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