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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.

Project Management…is it necessary for your business?


Are you running your business; or is your business running you? We at SBDCBelize is helping an owner step back and see the pieces of the puzzle that make up an entire organization. Managing a project (or many projects) may give you the perspective you need to solve one issue at a time.

Continue reading “Project Management…is it necessary for your business?”

A little bit of History, The Garifuna’s!


Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!! 

The most important day in the Garifuna calender is November 19. On this day, Garifuna Settlement Day, the arrival of the first Garinagu to Belize by dory  (dug-out canoe) is celebrated in all Garifuna communities in the country.

Settlement Day is celebrated for a whole week including parades, live music, drumming, dancing, prayers, Garifuna mass and election of Miss Garifuna take place to mark the anniversary. In communities like Dangriga and Punta Gorda, a dory symbolizing the arrival of the first Garinagu, is floating to shore around early morning dawn while local Garinagu women dress in their colorful costumes – , tourists and other interested await the arrival onshore.

Since 1943 November 19th has been a public holiday in the Stan Creek and Toledo districts called Garifuna Settlement Day. From 1977 November 19th has been a county wide public holiday.

 

Request for Proposal – CARIBBEAN LEADERSHIP PROJECT (CLP)


The Caribbean Leader Project is looking for a “Environmental Specialist” assigned to the the Caribbean Leadership Project (CLP).  CLP is a seven-year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to support the leadership and economic development training needs of regional and national public sector in twelve (12) CARICOM countries.

The purpose of CLP is to strengthen the capacity of future leaders in the Caribbean to contribute more effectively to regional integration and economic growth and support gender-sensitive public sector reform.  In this context, CLP is composed of the following five components:

Continue reading “Request for Proposal – CARIBBEAN LEADERSHIP PROJECT (CLP)”

Developing A Country Profile for Business Processing Outsourcing In Belize


Over the past six years, thirteen (13) call centers have been established within central Belize. This is a clear indication that Belize has a fostering environment for the growth and development of the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) Sector. BPO is one of the priority sectors identified within Component three (3) of BELTRAIDE’s Compete Caribbean Project. As a result of this, Compete Caribbean-IDB and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), will be having its first ever workshop, “Analyzing The Potential of Developing The Business Processing Outsourcing Sector in Belize”; with the purpose of developing a country profile. This workshop will be held on Friday, November 16, 2012, from 8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m., at the George Price Center, City of  Belmopan.

Mr. Anupam Govil, Consultant from Avasant in the United States will be the moderator at this workshop.  Topics to be discussed include:

  • An overview of the Global BPO Sector
  •  BPO Near-shoring Trends and Opportunities of Regional Competition
  • Addressable Markets and Offerings for Belize
  • High Level Strategy for Belize to gain more visibility in the BPO industry.

Interested persons, kindly feel free to contact Ms. Ruby Pascascio, Projects Officer at ruby@belizeinvest.org.bz, or Ms. Florence Cayetano, Public Relations Officer, at florence@belizeinvest.org.bz for further information.

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