The Embassy of the United States of America launched the tenth annual Made in the U.S.A. Exhibition this morning at the Fifth Floor of the Radisson Fort George Hotel’s Villa Wing in Belize City. The exhibition showcases a variety of private sector entities that offer American products, services, and investments in Belize. The goal of the event is to bring together American business representatives and Belizean and American entrepreneurs to promote private enterprise and commercial exchange. This year’s theme focused on the agricultural sector. The two day event was opened by U.S. Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally.
H.E. Vinai Thummalapally, United States Ambassador to Belize
“The “Made in the USA” exhibition is designed to feature private enterprises who promote commercial exchange between our countries. Thriving international trade and commerce translates into increases economic opportunities for both our countries—it means increased job prospects, more choices for consumers and more contact with larger markets; again both here in Belize and the United States. The businesses represented here today make significant contributions to Belize’s industry and economy—many of them are private Belizean companies who trade in American products and brands, distributorships, franchises and services. This trade is a two way street—the same way that American products are sold in Belize, more and more Belizean businesses are securing their markets in the United States. For example: Bowen and Bowen (everybody knows Bowen and Bowen) everybody knows that they have the bottling facilities here for Coca-Cola, but they are also selling the delicious belikin beer in the United States. They also serve belikin beer to the tens of thousands of American tourists who travel to Belize every year. Belize’s agricultural sector; especially sugar, citrus and papayas is also very strong in the U.S. Market.”
John Carr, Editor of Belize AG Report
“Agricultural imports from the US. In agriculture I will venture a guess that more than ninety percent of all farm tractors, trucks, plows, caterpillars, planters, sprayers and other machinery comes from the United States. Loads of farm machinery have rolled down through Mexico and a lesser amount by ships. Also seeds, chemicals, fertilizers come down here from time to time in great amounts. When we harvest our crops, we usually import scales, dryers and storage tanks to store the grain. The U.S. is definitely Belize’s largest trading partner in farm iron. Belize exports to the United States: as an exporter, Belize has shipped at time, sugar, citrus concentrate, bananas, papayas, black eyed peas, beans, fish and lobster—to name some of our exports to the U.S. The U.S. also assists us in dealing with citrus greening and other sanitary issues.”
Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Belize Agro Productive Sector Group
“The USA exported U.S. two hundred and ninety-nine point two million dollars in value to us and recorded a U.S. one sixty-nine trade surplus with this trade. Then we put these figures alongside total goods export of one point two seven trillion dollars and you get the picture that U.S. exports to Belize could be deemed insignificant to them. However, our friends at the U.S. Embassy see it fit to make the extra effort to put this show together every year. To me that demonstrates a true competitive spirit and your drive to improve an already very successful business relationship. What it also demonstrates is our government’s full recognition that exports to Belize—however small—represents jobs and serious economic activity at home—jobs; which the U.S. Embassy helps to safeguard through this exhibition.”
H.E. Vinai Thummalapally
“Over the next two days, I hope many Belizeans—residents of Belize and visitors to Belize—come to this exhibit and experience the many opportunities that exist for Belizean entrepreneurs and do business with American companies. We welcome everyone and invite the general public to visit our show. There is something here for everyone to see and even better, as we all know, the entrance is free and lots of free samples so don’t miss out. Please tell your friends and family to come out and enjoy.”
The two-day Exhibition will close at six pm on Saturday. Admission is free to the event.