February 17, 2012

Message from the Executive Chairman of BELTRAIDE

A little under a year ago, BELTRAIDE commenced a revitalization of its mandate to develop private sector opportunities in Belize.  The organization’s new face now includes not only a renovated office facility, but also the creation of new departments staffed with dynamic, qualified people with keen focus on business and investor support who are responsive to a constantly changing environment.

The organization’s new board of directors has authorized the new direction for BELTRAIDE through the adoption of new Vision and Mission Statements, following a board retreat on October 18, 2011.  This new Vision states that BELTRAIDE exists to “enable a dynamic and competitive business environment for Belize socio-economic development”.  In order to realize this Vision, the organization will pursue a mission to “enhance Belize’s prosperity by fostering investor confidence, entrepreneurship, business growth and innovation.”

In an effort to meet its new mandate, BELTRAIDE’s new structure includes the development of three core areas of focus: Projects and Policy support, Business Development, and Business Facilitation.

Continue reading “Message from the Executive Chairman of BELTRAIDE”

National CARICOM MSMEs Consultations –MSMEs Regional Bill

The Small Business Bureau, Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and the CARICOM SECRETARIAT are collaborating on a National Consultation for Belize’s Small and Medium Enterprise sector. This National Consultation was conducted following directions given at the Thirty-Second Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which undertook:

  1. Needs Analysis of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Business Support Organisations (BSOs)
  2. Discussion on  Draft Model Bill for Small and Medium Enterprises
  3. Discussion on Draft Strategic Plan

The National Consultations conducted in all Member States intends to provide the basis for improving the overall competitiveness of the SME Sector. The consultations addressed the –

(i)             Identification of the needs of SME Business Support Organisations, with a view to soliciting the assistance of the International Donor Community for further institutional capacity building support for BSOs;

(ii)            Development of a Final Draft Regional Strategic Plan for SMEs, in concurrence with the specific needs of the SME Sector in individual Member States; and

(iii)         Preparation of a harmonized SME Model Bill for adoption by Member States.  The Model Bill is intended to harmonize the legislative framework for SMEs, which would in turn facilitate cross-border expansion of SMEs within the CSME and generally increase the competitiveness of the SME Sector.

Presentation on the two documents was delivered by Ms. Leela Ramoutar, Specialist, Private Sector Facilitation CARICOM Secretariat and a representative of the Legal and Institutional Framework Unit of the CARICOM SECRETARIAT.

BELTRAIDE participates in BTIA’s 26th Annual General Meeting

The BTIA held their 26th Annual General Meeting on December 1, 2011 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina. President Jim Scott gave the opening remarks and introduced Mr. Efren Perez as the BTIA’s new Executive Director. In his address, Mr. Scott highlighted the importance to appeal to the Latin American market where great potential exists.

BTIA will launch their new website the week of December 5, 2011 which has been made more user-friendly. The previous website was targeted more towards its members; however, the new design will be more accessible for anyone browsing their website, including non-members.

A proposed membership structure was presented to BTIA members. From having over 20 categories, the new structure proposes to now have 9 categories. There will be 3 main categories with 3 sub-categories. The membership fee and benefits will vary depending on the type of membership being sought. A brief description is listed below:

  1. Individual – Student, Associate & Full Membership
  2. Business – Small ($500), Medium ($1,000) & Large ($,1500)
  3. Sponsors – Gold ($5,000), Platinum ($10,000) & Diamond ($15,000).

One of BTIA’s goals as described by President Jim Scott is to engage students and develop the capacity of young professionals across the country as they are the industry’s future. Trainings have been carried out in collaboration with the BTB to provide capacity building within the industry.

BETEX (Belize Tourism Expo) 2012 will be held from April 25-27, 2012. The proposed venue is Princess Hotel in Belize City but this has not been finalized. The BETEX committee proposes to have a centralized marketplace and post tours. Exhibitor Registration Fee is $2,000 but a 20% was being offered to BTIA members at the AGM. Further information can be obtained at

Developing Benque Viejo Del Carmen Town as a Tourism Destination

The Tagline for Benque Viejo was introduced and accepted by the committee members present as “Where History & Nature Meet”. This will be used in all documents promoting the town as a Tourism Destination.

Several points were discussed with follow up actions:

  1. Calendar of events: A list to be developed of all the activities held throughout the year & the attractions within and around Benque Viejo.
  2. Brochure: Mr. Kota is working along with Cubola Productions to develop the town’s brochure and should be ready for release by the end of January 2012. Mr. Kevin Gonzalez, Director of Destination Planning at the BTB, volunteered to speak with Mr. Anthony Hunt to provide photographs at a reasonable cost or free cost to be included in the brochure. It was emphasized that the photographs need to be of high quality and show the best of the town. Logos of sponsors will also be included in the brochure.
  3. Booklet: It was suggested for a booklet to be prepared showcasing the history of the town and things to do. Mr. Gonzalez emphasized the importance of having documented all that the Town offers because as is only the Committee members who reside in Benque possess such knowledge. Once this is recorded, then it will be easier to brand the town and receive assistance from MOT & BTB.
  4. Self-Touring: Local and international tourists can engage in self-touring provided that labels and directions are placed around the town.
  5. Mural: The BTB and MOT suggested the creation of a mural showcasing the history of Benque Viejo. The town has a lot of artists which can be brought together via a competition or other initiative to create such mural.

Branding is essential in the development of the town as a tourism destination. This is the #1 priority before any activities are executed. Branding will lead to specialised tour guide training as it will be clear what the Town is focusing on offering. The timeline for specialized tour guide training is March/April 2012 and Mr. Gonzalez stated that the BTB can assist with this.

A clean-up campaign will also be planned and executed in 2012, possibly on April 22, 2012 (Earth Day). A poster competition was sug

gested to get the primary schools involved in the event.



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