REPORT #364 August 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

A project advisor of the Belize Development Trust, Peter Singfield of Xaibe Village in the Corozal District, recently made a visit to the Peten. He was amazed to find machinery imported from China in Guatemala, at 15% of the price retail, of the very same goods imported to Belize, from England and the USA.

Peter is an engineer and one example he gave, was a diesel engine. A Chinese knockoff copy of the British Belize sold, Lister Diesel. Price comparisons were $10,000 for the British version versus, around $1500 for the Chinese version imported into Guatemala at retail. Peter being an engineer, was well qualified to look at sturdiness and quality, he stated in his report that the Chinese made diesel was equal to, or superior to the British diesel imported into Belize.

This points out to the lack of support the Belize Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Business Bureau are giving local importers of Belize. We could be cutting our trade deficit by 75% in costs. It is time to switch from British and USA products that are traditionally imported, to importing Taiwese and Chinese products.

Lest one should feel the USA would be slighted by this turn of events, do not worry. All that manufacturing going on in China is USA financial capital. They still make the profits, they are simply competing for cheap labor in the world markets. When you buy from China, you are still buying European or American.

Where I ask you, are the web pages for listing sources and prices of different imported goods into Belize that are currently being manufactured in Taiwan and mainland China? We would be happy to link to them from the Belize Electronic Resource & Development Library. The Belize business SERVICE community have a duty to the nation of Belize to install a web page with sources, mailing addresses and linkages to web sites for various products made in China and Taiwan. Normally, we would just shut up, and do it ourselves at the Belize Development Trust; but as volunteers we are being overwhelmed with projects and work, and already I for one have had to cut back my volunteer workload from 48 hours a week to 32 hours a week for the Electronic Library, Development Issues and related things.

There has to be English versions of sales sources and not all of this is going to be in Mandarin, or Cantonese. It just takes research surfing web hours and some e-mail correspondences with Embassy's. You pay us and we'll do it for the nation of Belize. But rightly, you are collecting salaries and we are not as volunteers. This is YOUR job. Get to it people, keep up with the times.

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