July 2015

Belize Audubon Society partners with BELTRAIDE to improve community development.

Mrs. Amanda Acosta, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society, along with Ms. Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise & Innovation Division and Mrs. Nilda Riverol signing the MOU.
Mrs. Amanda Acosta, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society, along with Ms. Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise & Innovation Division and Mrs. Nilda Riverol signing the MOU.

BELTRAIDE through the Small Business Development Center (SBDCBelize), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) at the Belize Training and Employment Center conference room, solidifying a partnership to assist business located in buffer communities around the protected areas.

The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) is a non-governmental conservation organization working for over 45 years in Belize, focusing on protected areas management, environmental education, advocacy, biodiversity research and monitoring, and community development.

Through the community development and outreach program, communities are engaged in sustainable development initiatives to improve their livelihoods and support conservation. For over 20 years, BAS along with various funders and partners have assisted in building resilient communities through skills training and capacity building in agro-processing, craft making, sustainable fishing, small business development and eco-tourism.

Our partnership will allow BAS to continue programs geared towards community development. Mrs. Amanda Burgos-Acosta, Executive Director, believes that this working-relationship will further demonstrate BAS commitment to empowering these communities through the execution of trainings and business advising by SBDCBelize.

Building Geographical Indications for the Caribbean’s Origin-Linked Products

Mrs. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export)
Mrs. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export)

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) opened the two-day sub-regional workshop on branding and the use of geographical indications in the development of management strategies for origin-linked products at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingstown, Jamaica on July 21st.  With the aim of building the capacity of CARIFORUM producers to identify and develop geographical indications and origin linked products, it is hoped that attending businesses will prosper and enhance their competitiveness in the international arena, and as a result build economic growth and sustainability of the Caribbean region.

The Hon. Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce for Jamaica highlighted in his address to the participants that “Within the Caribbean exist numerous opportunities for GI protection including  black pineapple from Antigua, cascarilla from the Bahamas, cahune oil from Belize, nutmeg from Grenada and sarsaparilla from St. Kitts just to name a few. Geographical Indications offer us the opportunity to protect these brands and our consumers, even as we continue to guarantee quality and provenance.”

Mrs. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in her welcome remarks expressed, “We recognise that the environment in which the region’s private sector operates is ever changing and key areas such as Intellectual Property Rights have emerged which require us to pay attention”.

Geographical Indications (GIs) is a form of Intellectual Property Rights given to goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin.  Research has shown that a product with a protected “Destination of Origin” may attract a premium price of as much as 40% higher than that of a similar product without a GI classification.

Mrs. Coke-Hamilton indicated that the power of GIs for the region has significant implications for ‘Brand Caribbean’ as we continue to seek new markets for our goods and to further penetrate existing markets.  “When we speak about Brand Caribbean, we speak about the need to set the Caribbean apart from other regions, to distinguish our products on shelves flooded by products from Asia or elsewhere and to ensure that the world knows that high quality is not some elusive concept achievable only by first world producers”.  She gave the example of the reputation of the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee which is one of the most expensive and highly sought-after coffees in the world.

Echoing these sentiments Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation for the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands expressed that “The European Union is convinced of the untapped potential that Geographical Indications have for the Caribbean’s economic development.”  In addition she reiterated “Without access to geographical indications protection tailored to their circumstances and needs, few producers of origin-linked products can benefit from their rights.”

There are many challenges that Caribbean countries face when dealing with GIs and IPs as a whole, these include the lack of knowledge of what constitutes IP and the value this property represents to individual firms; the lack of knowledge of IP laws and insufficient awareness of the work of local intellectual property offices in protecting IP; government agencies which work on IP are understaffed and in many situations, persons at these agencies have multiple portfolios; and the high cost attached to registering IP is considered a deterrent by SMEs in the Region.

To overcome these challenges, Mrs. Coke-Hamilton suggests that firstly we need to make IP capacity building, of firms and the BSOs at the local level, a priority; secondly, the region needs a structured, specialised programme through which relevant firms can be trained in IP; thirdly, there is a need to work with financial institutions to recognise the value of IP, so that they make it possible for the private sector to leverage their IP as collateral when seeking financial assistance and lastly, there is a need to develop and share case studies within the region.

“I do not think that we need to be convinced of the value of GIs and OLPs for our products. What is needed is a commitment on our end to complete the work that has already started in developing GIs for various products such as our Jamaica jerk, cocoa, nutmeg and pineapples”, stressed Mrs. Coke-Hamilton.

The workshop was hosted by the Caribbean Export in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica (the Jamaican Intellectual property Office), the Office of Trade Negotiations of the CARICOM Secretariat, the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the REACH Programme of the Inter-American Development Bank in Kingstown, Jamaica from 21st – 22nd July.

Request for Expression of Interest – Shrimp Branding


Abstract: Shrimp produced in Belize, certified under the ASC shrimp standard, possess distinct characteristics that demand a high market value. In order to obtain this market advantage, the unique qualities of these shrimp need to be communicated to the consumer. Developing a unified branding and image for the Belize shrimp cluster and the transmitting this image to exporters, will ensure that these shrimp can be differentiated from others within international markets, and that the cluster can obtain the high market value assigned to sustainably certified shrimp.

Project No.: RG-X1044
Deadline: July 30, 2015

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), have established a co-financing program called “Compete Caribbean” (RG-X1044). The ultimate goal of this Program is to contribute to the increase in the standard of living and quality of life in the Caribbean, the enhancement of the competitiveness of the Caribbean region, and increase the development impact of private sector development projects while emphasizing gender equality and environmental sustainability.

The consultant’s activities include but are not limited to (i) Submitting a detailed work plan with implementation timelines; (ii) Developing a Brand strategy having due regard to the achievement, size, location and development stage of the cluster, as well as the “fit” with the country brand and individual firm brands; (iii) Submitting draft and final reports with stakeholder feedback.

The Inter-American Development Bank now invites eligible individuals to indicate their interest in providing the aforementioned services. Interested Consultants should have: (i) An advanced degree in Marketing, branding or a related field; (ii) At least five years working in a marketing capacity and demonstrated success in developing a marketing and branding initiative for aqua/agriculture based clusters; (iii) Experience working in the Caribbean region would be an asset, (vi) Fluency in English required and fluency in Spanish is an asset.

To view the full Terms of Reference for this consultancy, please click here.

Consultants will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the Inter-American Development Bank: Policies for the Selection and Contracting of Consultants financed by the Inter-American Development Bank GN-2350-9 and is open to all eligible bidders as defined in the policies.

Interested consultants may obtain further information at the address below during office hours 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM (US Eastern Time).

Expressions of interest and accompanying CVs must be delivered by email to Tamara Gibson ( by midnight on July 30th, 2015. Please include the following text in the subject heading:

“Expression of Interest –Shrimp Branding”

Inter-American Development Bank
Division: CTI
Assignment: COMPETE CARIBBEAN: Private Sector Development and Competitiveness
Attn: Gibson, Tamara

“Hythe”, Maxwell Main Road, Christ Church, Barbados
Tel: 1-(246) 627-8508
Web site:

H.E. Nestor Mendez Takes Office as Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States

Nestor Mendez

Four Caribbean countries identified as choice locations for business

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Friday July 10, 2015 – St. Lucia, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti have been identified as countries outside the United States that companies will move to in five to 10 years.

That’s according to readers of Site Selection Magazine, an influential publication that highlights corporate real estate strategy and aSouthAmericarea economic development.

“In a tie with Eastern Europe, 31.4 per cent of respondents selected the Central/South America and the Caribbean and cited an educated workforce, the economic expansion of the region aided by the anticipated increase in traffic due to the widening of the Panama Canal and a growing middle class as some of the reasons behind the decision to invest in the logistics, automotive and chemical clusters,” explained Senior Editor of Site Selection Patty Rasmussen.

Location consultants and experts in foreign direct investment from around the world were asked where they would consider locating their investment in the next ten years, and why.

St. Lucia, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti were among 13 countries identified as choice locations in the Central/South America and Caribbean.

Among the attributes identified for the feature ‘Locations of the Future’, survey respondents highlighted a large population with a burgeoning middle-class; political and economic stability; an industrious, well-educated workforce; and quality infrastructure as some of the incentives to investing in one regional location over another.
Read more:

Belize participates in EXPO Milano 2015.

Belize is participating in EXPO Milano 2015, under the theme of “Feeding the planet, Energy for life” as we can foresee Belize partnering with other stakeholders and becoming one of the leading “breadbaskets” in our region.

Bordered by Mexico in the North, Guatemala in the West, and the Caribbean Sea in the East, Belize is the only country in Central  America, with English as its official language, and whose British colonial history bridges its sister CARICOM countries to mainland Latin America. Belize has a hard-working, diverse, friendly, bi-lingual, and well-educated workforce that bolsters an economy, focused on growth. Being world renowned as a tourist destination, Belize brags for having the second largest barrier reef in the world and is reputable for its beautiful beaches and all year round tropical climate that has made us the country of choice amongst its growing number of returning tourist.

Belizes natural assets, progressive development policies, pro-business investment climate, and long-time democratic stability have created an ideal destination for investors seeking a sustainable harbor amidst the waves of global economic hardship. The Government of Belize is wholly committed to supporting the country’s niche-oriented development model, while preserving the country’s distinctiveness and fostering investor confidence. Likewise, the wide array of investment- related incentives has continued to firmly reinforce the country’s business-friendly reputation. Current priority sectors for investment in Belize include:

  • Tourism & Leisure
  • Agri-business
  • Offshore Outsourcing
  • Renewable Energy
  • Aquaculture


Given Belize’s long-standing tradition as an agricultural connoisseur, the opportunities for Agri-Business investments are immense! Our close proximity to North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, offers easy access to premium markets. In addition, the availability of highly productive land resources, which are perfectly suited for a wide range of agricultural activities, present robust opportunities for primary goods and value- added commodities.

Agri-Business serves as the foundation of the Belizean economy and continues to be the base force propelling the local productive sector onward.  To date, the once traditional agricultural productions(i.e. citrus, banana, sugarcane) have been undergoing gradual planned transformation- broadening its pillars to encompass sectors  such as Agro-Processing, Green Gold Crops(i.e. grains, cacao beans, cotton), Renewable Energy Crops(i.e. sorghum, sugarcane), and Organic Crops.

Belize has diversified into Aqua-Culture development as a number of species is being farmed. These include: Native stocks such as the River Lobster, Blue Eye Catfish, Common Snook, Mutton Snapper, Nassau Grouper, Blue Crab, as well as exotic species such as the Australian Freshwater Lobster, Channel Catfish, Flounder, American Oyster, Malaysian Prawn and Florida Pompano.  The main market destinations for Aqua-Culture commodities have been major cities in the United States. In addition, other emerging markets include Mexico and Guatemala, as well as the CARICOM states. The competitive advantages that Belize enjoys in the region are pristine and unpolluted seas, rivers and lakes, and the close proximity to major market destinations such as being two hours away from the continental United States.

Belize is currently working closely with the Global Harvest Initiative, to bridge the gap to fight hunger and become the leading country to address the challenges of finding sustainable ways to rapidly feed the increasing numbers of people across Latin America, the Caribbean and the world.  With a more productive and environmentally sustainable agriculture system, Belize holds great potential in contributing towards achieving food security as well as for the region’s development, for poverty alleviation and for social progress.

Our country representatives got a special visit from Hon. Erwin Contreras Minister of Trade, Investment,
Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection.

Belize – Winner in Caribbean Countries of the Future – fDi-Financial Times

  1. ECLAC One Page Summary Report 20150608 - ECLAC Supplementary Notes BelizeINVEST Infographic Final (5)


On the 7th July, 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between BELTRAIDE, on behalf of SBDCBelize, and Peacework. The objective of the MOU is to support the “Belize High School Innovation Challenge 2015”. The assignment includes: capacity building and technical assistance to the selected high school teams (Belize Rural High School, Ladyville Technical High School, and Ocean Academy) in the development of business model and follow up support on implementing the small grants awarded.

DSC_5531 DSC_5532Press_Release_-_MOU_BELTRAIDE_Peacework_July_2015

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