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July 18, 2014

Public and Private Sectors Meet on Economic Development


Public and Private Sectors Meet on Economic Development

Today, the Belize Biltmore Plaza was the site of a very high-profile, high-powered economic forum, under the theme – Strengthening Partnership for Growth. It’s the third of its kind, an initiative to strengthen the collaboration between the public and private sectors in Belize. Industry stakeholders, big business operators, bankers, financial experts, entrepreneurs and government officials engaged in panel discussions on various pertinent topics with one goal – developing the economy. Mike Rudon was at the opening ceremony this morning and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The first business forum took place in 2011, an effort by government to open meaningful dialogue with the private sector in Belize. Since then the initiative has taken flight, and today there was massive participation from private sector stakeholders, as well as industry giants and financial experts. Traditionally the sessions have been speech-centred, but this year it’s being done different to allow for more interaction, input and constructive discussion.

 

Mike Singh, C.E.O., Ministry of Trade and Investment Promotion

“This year we’re doing panel discussions, and we’ve brought in people from key areas in government, key areas in the private sector, key areas in the productive sector to sit and have discussions on specific topics, to discuss issues like competitiveness, education, skill needs…I could go through a long list but I believe that there are four panels after which there are question and answer sessions with the private sector. The Prime Minister is on hand to address any issue that they might have, and I also believe that for him it will be a learning experience as well because it really is intended to be a two way thing, not a one way speech-giving activity.”

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Trade and Investment C.E.O. says GOB is Growing Jobs


Trade and Investment C.E.O. says GOB is Growing Jobs

The latest statistics on unemployment in Belize, released a few weeks ago by the Statistical Institute, shows an increase in joblessness in the districts. The only increase in employment was in Belize City, a result of the ongoing city infrastructure projects. The dialogue between the public and private sectors is focused on driving the economy and in his address this morning the Prime Minister made special mention of new projects to be labour intensive. So while job creation is a priority of development, is it a reality in Belize today? Ministry of Trade and Investment Promotion, Mike Singh, says it is.

 

Mike Singh, C.E.O., Ministry of Trade and Investment Promotion

“In the major sectors they’re actually hiring more people. The Prime Minister spoke about the second sugar mill in the west. I know for a fact that they are up to about five hundred and fifty new employees, just in that factory alone, and as they expand they expect to be up to about eight hundred and fifty. In the north sugar is growing, you’ve seen the numbers, production is up. They are planning an expansion program as well. Citrus is getting back on its feet. Shrimp…there’s going to be a lot of discussion about shrimp. In fact, one of the gentlemen on my panel is Mr. Alvin Henderson, and he will tell you that his production is growing, his exports are growing, and he is expanding jobs. The former Fresh Catch Tilapia Farm, for instance, is now back in operation. It’s now called Fine Catch. It’s owned by Mr. Michael Feinstein, and in a discussion I had with him three weeks ago, he expects to have between four to six hundred people employed there once they get into full production.”

http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/101588

 

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