Sunday, August 17, 2008

What about made in Belize

"Seven years ago Belize imported three hundred and sixty two million dollars in goods from the USA. Today that number has increased by one hundred million"

I was reading the transcript of the news this weekend and this statement jumped out and smacked me across the face. $ 462, 000, 000. 00. That's a lot!

It brought to mind an old conversation I had with my father years ago about entrepreneurship. My father taught me that entreprenuership was the key to economic success. Sure, we, as a nation, could import most anything we could ever desire. In this global village ruled by personal desire, self gratification, greed, and capitilism, the sky is the limit. Hell, for $20 million, even a flight in space is up for grabs. But when we do for ourselves, by ourselves, we improve ourselves. Which is exactly how these big countries got the point of security that they are now. {and by stealing the natural resources of other countries for hundreds of years, but I won't go down that path today}

Taking an analytical view of economic trade from Belize's standpoint, let me outline the steps to get Heinz Ketchup or Nike Air sneakers to our favorite country. First, we must buy foreign currency - at a lost, might I add. After the sales transaction, we must then ship these things to our shores, increasing our carbon footprint in the world, whilst shouldering the ever-increasing cost of fuel. After various taxes for... I don't know what, the consumer then has the joy of purchasing the item. Which may remain on the shelf for years... expire... but never ever go on sale.

Why import things that we can produce for ourselves in Belize? Self-sufficiency is the path we should walk to our development. The global market is so prone to fluxuations. When a needle falls on a sweat shop in China, we feel the reprucussions here for a long time. Making things for ourselves in our own country protects us from the global tides, that storm sometimes for reasons that economist find out only after the fact.

Buy Belizean goods... if you have a little idea for a business, start small and don't stop. Try your best. Believe in Belize and let's try to keep some of that $462, 000, 000.00 here within our own shores. America certainly doesn't need it, and we do.

Let's start a dialouge... looking forward to your comments.


Anonymous said...

Haven't been on the blog in a while... geeeez. that's a mighty large figure!
I was always told that business is one of the most popular majors in secondary and tertiary high school s in Belize... so, what's going on? Are we teaching our students how to spend, work for others? (I'm from a science background, haven't got a clue about business, and I'm paying for it now!) Perhaps the respective educational institutions should reexamine their business curricula and implement stronger entrepreneurial
or marketing courses?? Can anyone give their thoughts on the business programs in Belize high schools/colleges?

The Voice said...

Man, I don't know much about business myself, but I think the answer lies in the socialization of our children. No more "gimme, gimme", bling, fast money attitude... we need a "work for what you want" society.