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JOINT PRESS RELEASE – Phasing out of single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam and plastic food utensils


Belmopan. March 20, 2018. The Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, and the Ministry of Tourism led a collaborative taskforce comprising the Department of the Environment, Customs Department, Beltraide, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, and Solid Waste Management Authority to advance a proposal to Cabinet to reduce plastic and Styrofoam pollution through the phasing out of single-use plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam and plastic food utensils by April 22, 2019. The proposal was approved by Cabinet at its sitting today, 20th March 2018.

The phasing out of plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam and plastic food utensils, such as clamshells, flat plates and cups, is a necessary pollution control measure to protect the terrestrial and marine environment from harmful plastic contamination. Biodegradable alternatives to the plastic and Styrofoam products already exist on the Belizean market in the form of shopping bags, clamshells, coffee cups and plates manufactured from plant-based materials.

Plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam clamshells are used by the average person for only a few minutes before they are thrown away where they can last for decades in the landfill or as litter on the side of highways, in rivers, along coastlines and in the sea, causing harm to wildlife and fishes vulnerable to choking on plastic pieces. The annual clean-up cost of this pollution is considerable and is borne by volunteers, government and civil society groups. In the municipal waste stream, plastic and Styrofoam comprise about 19% of the volume, and therefore 19% of the cost of national solid waste management.

Globally, plastic and Styrofoam pollution is a major concern. Large floating debris piles have formed in the Caribbean Sea and other major water bodies. These international waste debris are not only difficult to track, as they migrate with ocean currents, but they are prohibitively costly to clean up, some ending up on the Belize Barrier Reef. With the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is doing its part to reduce marine pollution and protect the natural environment that is the foundation of our vibrant tourism industry.

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For more information contact:
Tel: +501-822-0160
email: ceo.sec@environment.gov.bz

MOA PRESS RELEASE

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Belize and the Caribbean Region Showcase Opportunities in Outsourcing Services at the 22nd Global Connection Forum in Mexico City


As consumer demands continue to evolve, companies strive to become competitive through innovation by enhancing their products and services. At the same time, the primary focus is also geared towards ensuring customer satisfaction, which is achieved not only through competitive prices, but also, through customer experience. This is attained through efficient and effective supply chains; hence, companies quickly seek to outsource part of their operations to specialized companies in nearshore destinations as Belize.

Amidst these global changes, the Mexican Institute for Teleservices is currently hosting the 22nd Global Connection Forum in Mexico City, as of March 12th – 14th, 2018, which seeks to serve as a platform for Offshore Outsourcing Services stakeholders to learn about the most recent and emerging global trends in the contact centre services sector. As part of its objectives to foster trade and investment in Belize’s Offshore Outsourcing Services Sector, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in partnership with the Caribbean Association for Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), participated in the event to showcase Belize’s competitive advantages as an emerging nearshore destination inclusive of the Caribbean region as a competitive outsourcing region. These objectives will be achieved through networking, exhibition displays, and private roundtable discussions between targeted companies and participating Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) of the Caribbean to briefly speak on the value proposition for potential investments in this sector.

For further details on the event or on opportunities in Belize’s growing Offshore Outsourcing Services Sector, please contact BelizeINVEST,  BELTRAIDE at investment@belizeinvest.org or call +501 822-3737.

Fostering Development through the Sustainable Tourism Programmes (STP I & II)


In 2008, the Government of Belize (GOB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), funded the Sustainable Tourism Programme I (STP I: 2009- 2014), which invested in nine tourist destinations to strengthen the tourism industry’s contribution to the national economy, by consolidating the overnight tourism market with investment and activities to enhance the Belizean tourism experience. STP I allowed for the development of the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2030, setting forth a national development policy and destination planning for key tourism destinations such as Cayo, Placencia, Belize City and Ambergris Caye. Key investments made under STP I include:

  1. Cayo Welcome Center – San Ignacio, Cayo
  2. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave – Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Cayo
  3. Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve – San Ignacio, Cayo
  4. Xunantunich Ferry and Visitor Center – San Jose / Succotz, Cayo
  5. Placencia Municipal Pier and Plaza – Placencia, Stann Creek
  6. Belize City Fort Point Pedestrian Link – Belize City, Belize
  7. San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal – Ambergris Caye, San Pedro
  8. Bacalar Chico Ecological and Education Center – North West Ambergris Caye, San Pedro

Recognizing Belize as a world class cultural and natural asset, the Sustainable Tourism Programme II (STP II: 2015- 2020) signed in 2014, aims to further increase the contribution of the tourism industry in regard to Belize’s national sustainability through resilient socio-economic development in emerging destinations, such as Corozal, Toledo, Caye Caulker, Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and adjacent protected areas of Chiquibul, and Caracol in Cayo District. These destinations are all targeted for investment to enhance the physical tourism product, to promote disaster and climate change resilience, and to strengthen capacities in the industry.

BELTRAIDE continues to partner with the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation in initiatives under both STP I and II in fostering national development through investment, trade, entrepreneurship and skills training. For more details on the Sustainable Tourism Programmes and national initiatives in tourism development, please feel free to contact the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation at:

106 South Street

Belize City, Belize

Phone: +501-227-2801 / 02

Email: info@tourism.gov.bz

Website: www.tourism.gov.bz

Tourism on the Rise! 2018 Outlook and Opportunities.


2017 was a prosperous year for tourism in Belize, with 2018 promising to be even better!

With a unique blend of culture, rich inland natural resources and crystal blue waters with the world’s second largest Barrier Reef, Belize offers investors an ideal recipe for unprecedented growth and success in Tourism! Guided by the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2030, the tourism industry continues to contribute an upward of 40% of Belize’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), overnight tourism grew by 10.8% to 427,109 visitors in 2017 when compared to 2016. This exceeded the population size of Belize and represents a continuous vote of confidence from Belize’s overnight tourists stemming primarily from the U.S., Europe, and Canada. Cruise arrivals, also, grew in 2017 by 3.7% to 1,014,231 visitors when compared to 2016. Based on the recent opening of the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Cruise Port at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize and continued national cruise tourism growth, the total number of ship calls increased by a sizeable 13% to 336 calls in 2017.

Belize’s saga of successes was further harnessed in 2017. Notably, Belize won multiple World Travel Awards in various categories including being named one of the “must visit” locations by the New York Times. On the same par, the Financial Times, via its renowned fDi Magazine, awarded Belize “Best Tourism Location of the Future 2017/ 2018”; with specific distinctions in “Best Investment Awards – Hotels”, “Best Enhanced Airlift” and “Best Sustainable Strategy”. These successes are due to the efforts of the Government of Belize that continues to cultivate airline connections, which span more than sixteen cosmopolitan cities, including new airlines and routes to Canada and the USA. This is, also, attributed to several hotel developments reaping opportunities in Belize’s growing overnight tourism industry, including the recent opening of Curio by Hilton at Mahogany Bay Village, in November 2017; with additional internationally branded hotels announced, such as the Wyndham and the Dream Hotel Group. Meanwhile, multiple ultra-luxury private island developments are underway, including those on the Blackadore Caye, led by Oscar winner, Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as the Caye Chapel development, featuring a private airstrip and a branded 18-hole golf course by Greg Norman.

In 2018, Belize anticipates yet another record year of growth in amassing investments led by tourism and travel. As more people begin to explore Belize, additional investments are required to increase accommodation and hospitality services to fulfil the country’s niche tourism market.

Investment Opportunities:

The National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP) 2030 for Belize has assessed several opportunities for investment under six defined products. These include:

  1. Nature-Based – ecotourism and adventure tourism systems of themed natural and man-made nature-based concepts structured into integrated recreational ecotourism and adventure sites and centers as well as trail and national caving trail systems,
  2. Sun and Beach – resort and hotel developments within the luxury and pristine themes,
  3. Cruise – facilities for conventional and pocket cruise tourism with commercial centres and amenities,
  4. Leisure and Entertainment – facilities for shopping, restaurants, cafes, bars and attractive facilities and entertainment centres,
  5. Nautical – structures for a system of marinas, ports and services aimed at attracting tourists journeying in vessels (yachts, sail boats and charter boats), and
  6. Cultural – development of centers or museums elaborating the history, heritage and living cultures of Belize encapsulating the tourism experience.

For more details on investment opportunities in Belize’s growing tourism industry, please feel free to contact our team at BelizeINVEST, a unit of BELTRAIDE!

 

14 Orchid Garden St.

City of Belmopan

Phone: +501-822-3737/0175

Email: investment@belizeinvest.org.bz

Website: www.belizeinvest.org.bz

Belize Stimulating Investments at the first Belize Investment Forum held in Miramar, Florida


As part of its mission to foster economic growth and development, the Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida Inc. (BACCOF), in partnership with the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) hosted the first Belize Investment Forum in the City of Miramar, Broward County, Florida on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) represented by Ms. Lianne Torres, Investment Associate, was present at the event in delivering the primary presentation highlighting the numerous investment opportunities that exist in Belize’s emerging industries in sectors such as Agriculture & Agribusiness, Offshore Outsourcing  Services and Tourism amongst others. The presentation also encapsulated insights on investment incentives, shovel ready projects and the Belize Investment Portfolio a platform available for local and foreign investors seeking financing and strategic partnerships for shovel ready projects in Belize.

In building long-term relationships for strategic collaboration, meetings were held with stakeholders such as the City Commission of Lauderdale Lakes and representatives of Lauder Lakes Industrial Park; additional meetings were held with government officials and potential investors during networking sessions. The accompanying delegation included the Mayor of Belize City, representatives of Atlantic International Bank and stakeholders in the private sector. The one day forum hosted in excess of one-hundred (100) participants. For further details on the event, please contact BELTRAIDE at investment@belizeinvest.org or call +501 822-3737.

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