14 July 2004


WTO commitments could anchor future reform efforts needed to sustain growth

Belize has taken significant steps to liberalize most aspects of its trade regime, while maintaining high levels of protection for a few selected domestic activities, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Belize released on July 14 by the WTO Secretariat. Belize’s licensing regime, amounting in some cases to outright prohibitions, distorts resource allocation and undermines the transparency of its trade regime. The report notes that import protection weighs down Belize’s exports.


To sustain the high rates of economic growth enjoyed in recent years, the report also says that Belize needs to tighten fiscal and monetary policies and find ways to stimulate competition in vital areas of the economy like financial services and electricity. Enhanced multilateral commitments could play a useful role in anchoring future reform efforts and bolstering the predictability of reforms for traders and investors.

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Belize will be the basis for the first Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Belize by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 12 and 14 July 2004, which will take place at the same time as the review of Suriname.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.


Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.


Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Republic of Korea: 15 and 17 September 2004
Rwanda: 28 and 30 September 2004