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.