August 1, 2014

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:

The Importance of Attracting Foreign Direct Investment

The Importance of Attracting Foreign Direct Investment


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) refers to the flow of capital from one nation (home state) to another (host state). Typically, this is done by acquiring shares in the locally established enterprise or by investing and establishing fresh ventures in the host state. In an era when globalization prevails, countries worldwide are scouting actively to attract FDI. Unlike traditional forms of debt financing, FDI serves as an ideal debt-free approach to economic development that ultimately facilitates trade, jobs creation, transfers of know-how’s and technologies in the host state.

Developing nations such as Belize, have realized the instrumental role that FDI serves in the path toward economic development. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (2006), it was noted that a rise of one percent in the ratio of the stock of FDI (to Gross Domestic Product), will raise GDP by 0.4%. It is thus well illustrated that for every dollar of FDI attracted, it will contribute about $0.50 toward the overall production of national output – hence raising the economic growth by close to half percent.


In light of the above, the overall rationales for attracting FDI to countries such as Belize are well documented. To date, FDI has been observed as a key source to generate employments, boosting foreign exchange earnings, facilitate trade (local and international), and trigger innovation and productivity. In short, FDI is viewed as an efficient way to attracting up-to-date technology, management practices, and even an assured market. It is thus imperative that a favorable business environment, along with consistent public policies be in good order in the quest to attracting FDI. As is, Belize has done comparatively well in fostering such a conducive business environment to attracting foreign direct investments!

Moving up the Offshore Outsourcing Value Chain

Transitioning from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)

“Moving up the Offshore Outsourcing Value Chain”


It is evident that in recent years, Belize has seen the advent of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry with the boom of contact call centers providing services to various offshore companies. The first center opened its doors in 2005 and today, there are over 16 active BPO centers in Belize employing well over 2,000 agents while offering both inbound customer service and outbound sales services. The industry has also been recognized as a specialized “niche” area and priority sector for employment generation and Belize’s socio-economic development by the Government of Belize (GOB). It also enabled the development of a comprehensive business process outsourcing (BPO) strategy completed by global outsourcing consultancy firm AVASANT in 2013.

Though the interest in Belize’s BPO industry proceeds with robust growth, there is a shifting focus where multinationals seek to outsource even higher value added services to Latin America and the Caribbean. Two (2) of these primary areas of outsourcing service diversification include information technology outsourcing (ITO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), both of which can create a new “niche” for the export of services from Belize through offshore outsourcing.

The reasons for this shift are myriad including the opportunity to tap into lower costing, English speaking, near shore markets due to rising costs in Asia. It also enables organizations to leverage a new and innovative talent pool offering the same agility and access to new markets as popular destinations like India and the Philippines. A recent publication by the HfS index 2013 shows that the outsourcing market was valued at USD 648 billion being spent in ITO and KPO services while only USD 304 billion was spent on BPO services. That said, Latin America and the Caribbean is being looked at closely to fulfill this growing demand of higher value added services and Belize also remains on the radar. The next step would then be to identify the “niche” areas ensuring competitiveness in both price and quality of these services while building credibility and trust in our available Belizean talent.

The employment opportunities created under each of these new “niche” areas are highlighted and defined below:


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Diversification:

Business process outsourcing (BPO) involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions (or processes) within an organization’s value chain to a third-party service provider. Continue reading “Moving up the Offshore Outsourcing Value Chain”

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