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November 2012

Regional Export Competiveness Workshop


Trade representatives in the region gathered in Barbados from 16-18 October, 2012 to discuss Export Competitiveness: Strategies for the Caribbean Region. The objective of this workshop was to share country experiences in implementing export competitiveness strategies with a view to addressing common and individual country obstacles and to explore new approaches to export competitiveness. These are all strategies necessary to meet emerging challenges in today’s global marketplace. Continue reading “Regional Export Competiveness Workshop”

Kakaw – The Fine Belizean Chocolate Made on Ambergris Caye!


By Ann Kuffner

Fine chocolates are an up and coming niche business market here in Belize.  There are now a number of solid specialty companies that produce fine Belizean chocolates within the country.  Belize high quality cacao beans thrive under the shade of Toledo’s wild jungle canopy. The owners of Kakaw Chocolate have proven that they can coax the maximum flavor out of their Belizean cacao beans. They produce the finest gourmet chocolate currently available in the country.

I first tried Kakaw Chocolates at Wine de Vine, a specialty wine and gourmet food store on Ambergris Caye. This is also where I first met the owners of Kakaw, Jo and Chris Beaumont, who are British expats who became Belizean citizens. We often chat at the Friday night wine tasting. On several occasions they offered to give me a tour of their local chocolate production facility. It’s right here on Ambergris Caye, in the building behind their home. I finally took them up on their offer.

Although a chocoholic, I was clueless about how cacao beans are processed, or chocolate made. Chris and Jo walked us through the various steps of the cacao treatment process. Chris showed us the equipment and processes they use to transform cacao beans into fine chocolate products.

After the tour, we learned how this entrepreneurial couple got into the business of making chocolate here in Belize.

Transforming Cacao Beans into Fine Chocolate

Belize’s cacao beans are grown in the Toledo region. This is the southern most region of Belize. It’s a remote and wild region of Belize. In Toledo, pure Mayan Belizeans still live off the land, in traditional villages.

It can rain up to 120 inches a year in Toledo. That’s double the rainfall of northern Belize. But, apparently the conditions are perfect for growing fine cacao beans. The cacao plant only thrives when it grows next to tall trees whose canopy shelters the cacao from the wind and direct sun. Continue reading “Kakaw – The Fine Belizean Chocolate Made on Ambergris Caye!”

Product Development Workshop for Woodcrafters


BELTRAIDE in collaboration with Orange Gallery conducted a product development workshop for woodcrafters.  The workshop took place on October 31st at the Orange Gallery Located at Mile 60 of Western Highway. Continue reading “Product Development Workshop for Woodcrafters”

BELTRAIDE transitioning to ASYCUDA for Duty Exemption Processing


One of the main benefits for the investors utilizing the Fiscal Incentives Program is the duty exemption.  To be able to provide this service, BELTRAIDE needs to work hand in hand with the Belize Customs and Excise Department.  BELTRAIDE will commence training in early December 2012 to transition into using the ASYCUDA WORLD (Automated SYstems for CUstoms DAta); which is leading media software that Integrates Customs Information Systems in more than 80 countries.

ASYCUDA began with an UNCTAD initiative to reduce transaction costs throughout the trade transaction chain, with potential cost savings per annum of $100 billion worldwide. It will be used to generate statistical economic analysis, manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, and transit and suspense procedures.

Belize has proudly implemented the software at Punta Gorda and Big Creek since June and August 2010 respectively, Phillip Goldson International Airport since May 2011, Belize City in September 2011, Benque Viejo Customs Station since July 2012 and Santa Elena Customs Stations since August 2012.

BELTRAIDE will be providing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between Concession Holders and Customs. Once the due diligence of the Fiscal Incentive request is done, the System will automatically authorize or be flagged by a BELTRAIDE authorized personnel.  This should then speed up the process in getting your goods assessed by Customs within 1-3 business days given that all requirements are met.  Overall, this system will facilitate control of the import and exports in our country, Belize.

BELTRAIDE only accepts invoices for the processing of duty exemption request during this transition period.  Thereafter, invoices will need to be submitted by your customs broker who will then upload it to the ASYCUDA system for BELTRAIDE’s personnel to conduct due diligence and approve online.
Sources:

http://www.asycuda.org

http://www.customs.gov.bz/asycuda.html

http://www.customs.gov.bz/download/SAD_Process.pdf

SBDCBelize Workshop…


We would like to inform our clients, General public of our first workshop being held tomorrow, November 21st, 2012 from 8:30am to 12:00pm. Workshop will be based on Establishing a Business In Belize!…
For more info please contact the office at sbdc@belizeinvest.org.bz or tel: 223-3195. Limited space available.

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