Belize's industrial policies in the context of its World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) commitments
a legal analysis
With the slowing economic growth after the 2008 global recession, countries are struggling to energize their respective economies to boost growth and create more employment opportunities for their Citizens. As such, countries are taking a second look at various industrial policies to help restructure their respective economies. Belize, a small developing country in Central America with economic and political ties to the Caribbean, must expand its supply capacity to sustain its economy. Achieving this requires a robust institutional response through an industrial strategy aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Belize’s economy. In this paper, we examine Belize’s existing industrial policies by conducting a legal analysis of its three investment incentive programs in relation to its WTO commitment. We identified the inconsistency in the three programmes with the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM), and observed the corrective measure undertaken by the government. Further, we identified possible flexibilities that Belize could take advantage of, while also suggesting a long-term industrial strategy that ensures an economy-wide competitiveness.
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