June 15, 2012

Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Policy and Strategy for Belize

It is recognised that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) represent a significant share of economic activity in Belize; however, there is no specific legislation providing fiscal and operational benefits to this sector. BELTRAIDE through funding from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), has completed a Draft MSME Policy and Strategy for Belize to support the development of this key sector. The policy was developed to reflect best practices regionally and internationally, as well as to identify the needs of the sector and analyze Belize’s business environment.  After completing national consultations with both private and public stakeholders, this policy has now transformed into reality.

The National MSME Policy and Strategy encompasses definitional, legislative and regulatory framework, increase flow of capital, enhance market access and competitiveness, and education and training. Additionally, it includes the overarching goals of the policy, and recommendations, as well as outlines Government’s support and commitment to programs aimed at SME development.

To facilitate the growth and development of MSMEs, the Policy and Strategy proposes programs to improve competitiveness, to facilitate access to larger markets, to allow access to affordable Micro-finance with minimal cost of forming a business, as well as to foster entrepreneurial development and build personal, technical and management skills.

The promotion of MSMEs will improve the competitiveness of the Belizean economy, generate additional employment, and improve the quality and range of goods and services available in the local and international markets.

In order to be passed as the National MSMEs policy and strategy, the Government of Belize (GOB) has to endorse it. The final document of the policy and strategy will be presented to Cabinet in the upcoming cabinet meeting.

In order to obtain a copy of the MSME Policy and Strategy, please feel free to contact BELTRAIDE.

Belize Participates in The 16th Annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference

Approximately one hundred and fifty delegates from all over the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and United States, including two from Belize, gathered at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino for the 16th Annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference, held April 24th to 26th, in Puerto Rico. This three days event incorporated some of the Caribbean Tourism Industry’s top decision makers, allowing them the opportunity to share their perspectives on investment opportunities, and development in the region. Participants ranged from architects to designers, developers, financial advisors, hotel owners, hotel chains executives, to tourism and government officials.

With the Caribbean showing signs of recovery, there was no better time to focus on the investment opportunities that lies ahead for the region. Delegates were primarily provided with the latest statistics, analysis, prediction and projections for the Caribbean’s tourism industry.

When it came to the discussion session, critical topics were placed on the table. They were knowledgeable, conversant and analytical panelist present, which included four members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, which is the highest decision making body of the region’s tourism development agency.

Topics discussed included challenges facing the Caribbean, new opportunities to be tapped into, as well as the power of branding, and using social media. The importance of having greater collaboration between the public and private sector was emphasized also, and feasible approaches were identified to foster future collaboration.  Since many hoteliers and other stakeholders have been facing crucial quandary particularly with regards to their assets, strategies and options to deal with troubled assets were identified.

Overall, we must mention that with Tourism being the most pivotal industry within the economies of the region, it is imperative that the industry expands, specifically by attracting new investment. This is extremely important in order for the region to be able to maintain its competitive advantage as the leading and most reliable warm- weather destination in the world.



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