August 2014



The Government of Belize (GOBZ) has received a Grant from the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund), financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), towards the cost of the above named project and intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this Grant to eligible payments under a contract for which this invitation is issued.

Payment by CDB will be made only at the request of GOBZ, and upon approval by CDB, and will be subject in all respects to the terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement. The Grant Agreement prohibits withdrawal from the Grant account for the purpose of any payment to persons or entities, or for any import of goods, if such payment or import, to the knowledge of CDB, is prohibited by a decision of the United Nations Security Council taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. No party other than GOBZ shall derive any rights from the Grant Agreement or have any claim to the proceeds of the Grant.

GOBZ now wishes to procure consultancy services for the conduct of a value chain analysis and development of an industry strategy for Belizean Cacao.  The objective of the assignment is to develop methods for the cacao industry in Belize to put itself in a much more competitive position and to expand exports by exploiting the market opportunities it presents. A Value Chain Analysis is to be conducted and, from the findings, a strategy will be created for the development of the industry.

The assignment is expected to be undertaken over a period of approximately three calendar months (September 2014 through November 2014).

GOBZ invites eligible consulting firms to submit expressions of interest for providing these services.

Consulting firms from all countries are eligible to participate but must demonstrate their ability to work in English.

In the assessment of submissions, consideration will be given to technical competence, qualifications and experience, local and regional experience on similar assignments and existing commitments.  All information must be submitted in English.

One hard copy of the Expression of Interest must be received at the first address below no later than 1600 hours on September 12, 2014 and one hard copy must be sent simultaneously to CDB at the second address below.  The sealed envelope containing each submission should include the name and address of the applicant and be clearly marked “Expression of Interest: Consultancy Services for Value Chain Analysis and Industry Strategy Development for Belizean Cacao”.

Following the assessment of submissions, a shortlist of not less than three, and not more than six consultants, will be provided with the full Terms of Reference and invited to submit technical and financial proposals to undertake the assignment.

GOBZ reserves the right to accept or reject late applications or to cancel this invitation partially or in its entirety.  GOBZ will not be bound to assign any reason for not short listing any applicant and will not defray any costs incurred by any applicant in the preparation and submission of Expressions of Interest.


  1. Executive Director (Acting)

   14 Orchid Garden Street

Belmopan City, Belize

   Central America

   Tel: (+501) 822-3737

   Fax: (+501) 822-0595



  1. Procurement Officer

Caribbean Development Bank

P.O. Box 408

Wildey, St. Michael


Tel: 1(246) 431-1600

Fax: 1(246) 426-7269



American Airlines Hires Ink Global To Relaunch ‘American Way,’ In-Flight Magazines

American Airlines Hires Ink Global To Relaunch ‘American Way,’ In-Flight Magazines
on August 19 2014 11:24 AM
American Airlines Group (AAL) will parnter with Ink Global to relaunch its flagship American Way publication with a stronger digital footprint and “more global outlook.” Reuters

The world’s largest airline is getting out of the publishing business. American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL), which finalized its merger earlier this year with US Airways, will partner with Ink Global to produce its American Way magazine and two other in-flight publications.

The companies are expected to announce the partnership later Tuesday. American Way reaches 193 million people every year, and Ink will also relaunch Celebrated Living, the airline’s first- and business-class title, as well as Nexos, a magazine produced in Spanish and Portuguese.

“This is an important juncture in airline history, a landmark merger, and we are excited to be working with the largest airline in the world,” said Michael Keating, Ink’s founder and director of business development. “We’re going to build on the associated websites for each publication, as well as mobile apps that go along with that.”

Ink, based in London, already produces 36 magazines in 18 languages for air and railway companies around the world, reaching 677 million passengers a year, it says. Keating said Ink will develop smartphone apps for the publications, and also digitize American Way’s archives.

“American Way has a huge following, so we’re excited to release the archives so that passengers in-flight, on whatever device they have at the time, will be able to view them,” Keating said. “We are also going to relaunch the website and completely relaunch the magazines.”

Ink will work with the current editor of American Way and author Adam Pitluk to relaunch the magazine. Pitluk said he was “monumentally encouraged” by Ink’s experience with mobile apps and global footprint as he tries to move away from standard travel coverage.

“I’ve tried to move away from being a straight up travel magazine,” Pitluk said. “And its not for any reason other than wanting to be something for everybody, in flight. Although people are flying, a lot of them are business travelers, where travel is more of a necessity than for pleasure.”

Pitluk said he wants American Way to go beyond being just a standard part of an in-flight experience, but also as a go-to source for travel tips.

“If somebody wants to know about the best boat drinks in Belize, we’ve got them covered, but if they’re looking for a story about some international business trends, they know that they could come to us too,” he said. “And Ink realizes that. If you only write about travel for leisure, you alienate a certain segment of your readership.”

Unlike a lot of magazines, American Way has managed to hold on to its ad pages. The magazine tallied 218.42 in the first quarter, up 2.8 percent from 212.50 in 2013, according to the Magazine Association’s Publisher’s Information Bureau. The association estimates American Way brought in $21.5 million in ad revenue in 2013.

Mergers in the airline industry have vastly culled the field of in-flight magazines. Titles like Continental Pacific (Continental Airlines) and World Traveler (Northwest Airlines) disappeared as those airlines were gobbled up by United and Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL).

Pitluk said working with a company dedicated to publishing, instead of air travel, would help the magazines in the long run. American Airlines attempted to get mobile apps for American Way and its other publications off of the ground before, to no avail.

“The primary business of American Airlines is running an airline and Ink’s primary role is publishing magazines, so it’s a partnership that makes sense,” he said. In that last year, Ink has hired a digital team of 50, including Chee Wong, former chief technological officer for Shazam Entertainment Ltd., the producers of the song-finding app.

“What you’re finding with a lot of the media agencies is that they want multiplatform,” Keating said. “Of course there are some advertisers who only want print, but we have advertisers who understand that there’s a capability of reaching passengers at every step of the journey, on the way to a destination as well as off of the plane.”

Ink has added merchandising to its digital products with great success, Keating said, and everything from boarding passes to email confirmations offer revenue opportunities. “We can send a media offer for an advertiser that’s highly targeted” with passenger data Ink receives from airlines, Keating said. “If a family books a vacation, a mother might get a skincare product for something to buy in the airport, the dad might get a carpark offer for the destination, and the kids might get a highly targeted advertisement for an attraction at their destination.”

Continue reading “American Airlines Hires Ink Global To Relaunch ‘American Way,’ In-Flight Magazines”

Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP)



The Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP) is a national umbrella body that brings together all service sector associations. It functions as a focal point to lobby, channel and address trade in services issues and services development issues which are critical for the sector to thrive in the competitive global environment. The Administrative & Accounting Office will be responsible for assuming the accounting and administrative functions for the BCSP Secretariat and providing administrative assistance to the BCSP’s Executive Director.


Continue reading “Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP)”

Belize Coalition of Service Providers



The Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP) is a national umbrella body that brings together all service sector associations. It functions as a focal point to lobby, channel and address trade in services issues and services development issues which are critical for the sector to thrive in the competitive global environment. The BCSP has the mandate to assist the sector in developing and exporting their services and the Executive Director will head the BCSP in moving to its next phase of development.


Reporting to the BCSP Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for the coordination, management, efficient leadership and administration of the BCSP on behalf of the private sector, as well as the promotion and facilitation of trade in services in Belize, regionally and internationally.

Continue reading “Belize Coalition of Service Providers”

Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC)

As part of its Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC)infoDev is seeking a qualified firm with presence in the Caribbean to support the team in the delivery and implementation of the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC) program.  Whilst already published on infoDev’s website, we bring this opportunity to your attention – for your own consideration and/or assistance in circulating to others who may have the interest and required capabilities to apply.  As you will imagine, we are keen to bring on board the very best support possible for the region’s women entrepreneurs!


Expression of Interest Deadline: 11th August 2014, 11:59 PM  (EST)

Overview of WINC’s program

WINC is implementing a hybrid approach in supporting innovative and growth-oriented women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean, with the objective to (i) actively encourage growth-oriented women entrepreneurs to apply and participate in EPIC’s Caribbean Mobile Innovation Program (CMIP) and Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC); and (ii) provide business acceleration service offerings to innovative and growth-oriented entrepreneurs in other sectors.  Across all sectors, WINC will provide a peer-to-peer network to support growth-oriented women entrepreneurs and inspire future women business leaders in the region.

WINC’s three main program components are as follows:

Continue reading “Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC)”

Miami’s port tunnel

Miami’s port tunnel to open in August


More than two months and $7 million in contractor fines after it was supposed to open, Port Miami’s billion-dollar tunnel is finally about ready to handle traffic, officials said Thursday.

“It’ll be open in early August, no later than two weeks from today,” said Chris Hodgkins, vice president of MAT Concessionaire, the consortium of companies that built the tunnel and will operate it.

The tunnel was scheduled to debut on May 19, pulling a projected 16,000 port-bound vehicles a day off Miami’s downtown streets. But various glitches, including malfunctioning exhaust fans and a leaking drainage pipe, have prevented it from opening.

“I know it’s a cliché, but whether it’s your kitchen or a tunnel under Biscayne Bay, you don’t let the contractor leave until everything’s perfect,” Hodgkins said, reciting a phrase that’s become a mantra to nearly everybody connected with the tunnel project over the past two months.

The contractor, Paris-based Bouygues, has been paying a fine of $115,000 to MAT Concessionaire every day the tunnel remains closed. At the same time, the Florida Department of Transportation has delayed beginning its $33 million annual payment to the concessionaire until the tunnel opens.

But a flurry of activity in the past few days has signaled that the tunnel is nearing completion. On Wednesday, workers finished the major surgery necessary to fix the drainage leak: a 2,000-foot trench, ripped through 15 inches of cement, four inches of asphalt and 15 feet of compacted concrete, where a new polyethylene pipe was laid.

“To be honest, it was pretty heartbreaking to see our brand new road torn up like that,” said a still chastened Hodgkins.

The first pipe was shredded and splintered in places by heavy machinery that passed over it when the tunnel surface was still just a dirty road. Three times, workers unsuccessfully tried to fix it with new linings. Finally a new pipe was laid alongside the first one. It passed a final pressure test Wednesday.

“We didn’t want a fixed pipe,” said Hodgkins. “We wanted a new pipe…. We are accepting nothing less than perfection. We’re going to be operating this thing 30 years.”

Meanwhile, about 30 of the 44 jet fans that were removed from the tunnel have been replaced, and installation of the rest is under way. Two of the fans failed shortly after being turned on in May and the rest were taken out as a precaution.

After extensive testing, MAT officials concluded that the fans were the victim of a series of quality-control errors, ranging from the use of different nuts and bolts than called for in the design to incorrect torque (in laymen’s terms, the bolts weren’t tightened right.)

Their reinstallation is being overseen by an independent company not associated with either the firm that manufactured the fans nor the firm installing them.

The west-bound side of the tunnel, where virtually all work is completed, looked pristine Thursday. The east-bound side, where fans are still being installed and cosmetic work to disguise the carnage wreaked on the road by the pipe repair is under way, was busier and messier.

Workmen perched atop 23-foot lifts bolted the new fans into place as crews hauled portable generators from spot to spot for testing. Tarps placed on the road to catch stray cement from the patchup of pavement torn away in the pipe repair were still scattered here and there.

And amidst it all, the seemingly endless testing and tweaking of emergency systems continued.

“We have to be ready for every possible scenario,” Hodgkins said. That lesson was drummed home when the engine of very first cargo truck to pass through the tunnel during a purely symbolic opening ceremony on May 19 featuring a speech by Gov. Rick Scott shuddered and died in the middle of the tunnel.

“Happily, we had our tow truck right there,” Hodgkins said. Since then, the emergency systems haven’t had to deal with anything more serious than the occasional rogue bicyclist who defies the big CLOSED signs and pedals into the tunnel.

Continue reading “Miami’s port tunnel”

Trade Finance Research

As of July 1st, 2014, the EXPORTBelize Unit has undertaken a new initiative that is investigating the current financial infrastructure of Belize, and more specifically, how it caters to exporters. The primary objective of the initiative is to amplify the amount of Trade Finance services being utilized in the country. Simply put, Trade Finance refers to a specific type of lending or credit issued to commercial enterprises that allows for secure and efficient international transactions. The initiative will work closely with the financial sector of the economy to better understand the services that are available, how they are being used, and what needs to be adapted. Additionally, the initiative is working closely with the exporters of Belize to explore how Belizeans have thus far engaged in trade finance and also, how their needs are, or are not, being met. From this research a pilot program for Trade Finance facilitation in Belize will be constructed. The program will recommend the best-suited trade finance services for the Belize financial sector and outline the necessary steps for their implementation. It will also provide a guide to accessing the correct Trade Finance services for your business. With the completion of this initiative, sharing your product with the rest of the word will be easier than ever!

As stakeholder engagement is a key component of this initiative, we ask that active participants in the productive sector take the time to complete a short survey of 12 multiple-choice questions. Please follow the link below:

The research is being led by our international intern, Arthur Staub, who will also serve as the primary contact person. If you would like to be further involved in this process, please contact Mr. Staub at

FINPYME ExportPlus

BELTRAIDE in collaboration with the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB) and our partners Scotia Bank and the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) launched FINPYME ExportPlus in March of this year. FINPYME ExportPlus provides Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with technical assistance so that they can better access export markets. Under the ExportPlus, we are currently implementing a program entitled Strategic Planning: How to build a plan for Internationalization.


To date participants have benefited from technical assistance and workshops on the following topics:

  1. Food Safety
  2. Project Management
  3. Strategic Planning
  4. Business Plan Development

The next activity under FINPYME Export Plus is an E-Business workshop taking place on August 1st at the George Price Center. The workshop will focus on international marketing and how to communicate effectively with customers abroad along with e-promotion and e-sales.  

In November, an Export Forum will be held whereby participants of the Strategic Planning program will be presenting their export plans to financial institutions including the IDB. Participants will have the opportunity to receive technical assistance or access financing in order to implement their projects.


The Importance of Attracting Foreign Direct Investment


In a place where business and nature blends in harmony, investors will find that Belize holds a well-crafted investment profile focusing on: Sustainable Tourism, Medical Tourism, Agribusiness (including Agro-Processing), Information Technology-enabled Services (including Business Process Outsourcing), and Renewable Energy. To date, the Government of Belize has undertaken several initiatives aiming at establishing a holistic supporting framework for the development of these sectors. Some of these initiatives include:

National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan

Belize continues to witness robust growth in its tourist arrivals. The aim of the Master Plan is to strengthen the sector’s contribution to the national economy by enhancing the tourism experience and resource sustainability, diversifying tourism products in emerging destinations for the overnight tourism market, and strengthening tourism institutions for policy, destination planning and management (STP Project Summary).

Medical Tourism Sector Strategy

It is well noted that in order to tap into the opportunities stemming from this sector, Belize will need to be able to deliver quality healthcare procedures, including specialized transportation, recovery and accommodation. The sector strategy thus serves as a guide in establishing the overarching regulatory framework, as well as providing support to stakeholders in the sector. In particular, the strategy outlines, in stages, the types of investment projects to be expected, degree of participation of existing clinics and hospitals, and level of involvement of foreign practitioners.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Sector Strategy

The BPO sector serves as one of the key economic pillars for Belize. In light of its importance, the sector strategy seeks to provide a holistic framework on developing the requisite infrastructural and talent pool, as well as charting a roadmap for the nurturing of a conducive operating environment.

While the above initiatives serve as a sound framework in guiding investors with interests to explore business opportunities in the selected areas, Belize’s Investment Promotion Agency, Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), also consistently provides trainings to its staff to strengthen its capacity to facilitate investment. In addition, BELTRAIDE also actively participates in various relevant international forums where potential investors congregate, such as attendance at the recent Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit.

For more information, kindly contact BELTRAIDE at 822-3737. You can also find us on or our Blog:

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