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Chamber of Commerce hold workshop to look at increasing productivity

A Productivity Improvement for Small and Micro Enterprises Workshop was held today in Belize City. The workshop is the result of the partnership between the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Labor Organization, ILO. Rufino Lin, the Vice President of Commerce for the BCCI spoke to Love News.

Rufino Lin – Vice President of Commerce

“Focused on improving productivity, we are aiming at improving the output of the Belize economy as well. One of the most common productivity indexes is the GDP per capita and as much as we improve that number it means that we are improving ourselves in our standard of living as well.


“Talk to us about how we arrived at this point from the initial stage concept to now.

Rufino Lin – Vice President of Commerce

“The importance of economic development is fundamental to Belize and that is the overriding objective and this workshop is a way of facilitating the public discussion and public engagement in regards to achieving that strategic objective of economic development. Also in some instances translates into job creation and in as much as there is unemployment in the country there is available labor resources. The items of productivity we expect will in some way absorbed and provide employment as well for the economy.

Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Kerry Belisle spoke on the role of the government in this initiative.

Kerry Belisle – CEO, Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development

“The discussion on productivity is one that requires the involvement of what we call the tripartite members and that is government, the unions and the business sectors so that we see this as an important discussion because it helps us to properly perform our coordinating function which is to ensure that the kinds of policies and laws for labor are consistent with the needs of the private sector and the unions. It’s very important because the persons represented in that room today in the panel are the persons who will make this economy work and we have also participation in the discussion because at the end of the day we are simply creating an enabling environment for the actors, employees and employers to be successful in their own investments.”

Vanessa Phala, the Senior Specialist on Employers Activities for the International Labor Organization Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, spoke about the challenges Belize is facing.

Vanessa Phala – Senior Specialist on Employers Activities for the ILO

“Looking at some of the reports that have been done for Belize including by organizations such as the IDB a number of challenges are around diversification of the economy. Obviously for many of the countries in the Caribbean and some islands that are mainly tourism oriented and some that are agriculturally oriented the challenge is how do you begin to diversify your economy so that you are able to do other economic activities so that if for example for countries that are relying on tourism and there happens to be a hurricane as we’ve seen the in the past what then happens because then it means that it will affect the revenue for the government because that is a sector that generates the income but if you have other economic activities that you could explore then you are not that vulnerable to such environmental disasters.”


“What kind of strategies can we incorporate to work in diversifying these industries?”

Vanessa Phala – Senior Specialist on Employers Activities for the ILO

“Importantly is to expand in terms of your innovation, your ITC sector. Obviously because of globalization and the expansion of the technology you have to explore what you could do in order to take advantage of some of these advances in technology, look at the business sector and you ask what else can be done there, what are the kinds of entrepreneurs that we want to create for the country and what sort of businesses should they start exploring so that you are not just relying on one economic activity.”