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hbalani

Hero Balani is one of the Business Development Officers at BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE, the official investment promotion and generation agency in Belize.

Japan-LAC Business Forum


REGISTRATION OPEN Japan-LAC

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is pleased to invite eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to submit applications for Japan-LAC Business Forum 2013, which will take place in Tokyo, Japan, on November 7-8, 2013. The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region is notable for its achievements in agriculture, renewable energies, and innovative social policies. In light of these achievements, Japan is seeking to strengthen its ties with the LAC region in an effort to support its high growth in the next decades. Both regions are currently on complementary stages of their economic and demographic cycles, which will lead to various opportunities and synergies.

IDB SUPPORT TO SMEs

In an effort to support the internationalization of small and medium-sized companies across the region, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will finance the participation costs for up to five (5) SMEs from Belize (voucher of up to US $1300 for the purchase of plane tickets and up to three (3) nights at a hotel accommodation for one representative per company).

SMEs must meet the following requirements in order to qualify for IDB’s financial support:

  • Submit innovative and international profile
  • Must be an exporter (priority will be given to those that export to Asia, particularly Japan)
  • Must be English speaking
  • Must have a working website
  • Must have special interest to trade, import, or invest in Japan.
  • The SME should also fall within one of the following fields:
    • Energy
    • Logistics
    • Infrastructure
    • Sustainability
    • Architecture/Urbanism
    • Renewable energy
    • Agri-business

Note: In order for the SME profiles to be considered, the company must also register as a SME on www.japan-lac.com

For more information, please contact the Export Development Unit at BELTRAIDE:

Address: 14 Orchid Garden Street, Belmopan

Phone (501) 822-3737 / 822-0175

Launch of National Agro-Processing Training Program ROC Taiwan


The Agro-Processing Program is one that promises to upgrade the income of youth and women. It is currently the Pilot Program of Belize’s soy sauce production and commercialized dehydrated papaya program. Today, the program which is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Technical Mission of the Republic of China Taiwan, was officially launched.

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GARETH MURILLO, REGISTRAR OF COOPERATIVES (MNRA)
“Empowering women and youth for income generation”
It is under this theme that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture along with the Technical Mission of the Republic of China, Taiwan, launched the National Agro-processing Training Program in the City of Belmopan. The project is a social benefit program which according to Food Specialist from the ROC Taiwan Technical Mission, Carson Huang, started in 2006. He told us how the program has grown. Continue reading “Launch of National Agro-Processing Training Program ROC Taiwan”

Standards are Important!


It does not matter whether you are a small/medium-sized business or a large company, standards are important! 

To paraphrase ISO, standards are basically rules that ensure quality in the development of a product or deliverance of a service.  As a company seeks to internationalize or gain international markets, adapting and complying with quality standards become a MUST!

Standards are divided into Technical Standards and Mandatory Standards. In Belize, some of our Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) may not even be aware that there are minimum accepted practices for the production of goods or services.  These are known as Technical Standards, but they are NOT mandatory. These cover aspects such as terminology, symbols, and packaging marking of a product.

On the other hand, Technical Regulations or “mandatory standards” are specifically designed to protect consumers. Therefore, they carry legal implications for non-compliance. Examples of Technical Regulations for Belize includes Packaging and & Labeling, Liquid & Petroleum Gas, and Labeling for tobacco products and for beverages.  Technical regulations cover two tasks:

  1. Product characteristics which are generally found in the relevant standard and,
  2. Administrative procedures, which are processes that are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements outlined in the technical regulations, which cover areas relating to testing, certification, inspection, approval, and sanctions. One well known example is ISO:9001, which is quality management system. This standard allows for a system of procedures from the time inputs are procured to the final products leaving the facility, so as to ensure consistency and quality.

For example, if a small business is interested in exporting fish to the United States, the standard requirements will be specific to the importing country, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standard requirements. Given the health implications associated with this product, measures will have to be put in place for the production area, storage, and shipping.  Additionally, the exporter will have to meet.

 

So what are some of the benefits of adopting Standards?

  • Protecting of consumers from danger and health risks.
  • Providing accurate information to consumers.
  • Ensuring and improving quality and safety.
  • Facilitating international trade, and improving your market competitiveness.

 

For more information on standards, please contact BELTRAIDE or the Belize Bureau of Standards.

Not Just a Call Center Agent…


According to Suite101 in Vancouver, Canada, call centers remain central to the success of businesses since they are the nerve of customer care “maintaining existing customers while attracting new ones.” Many do not see the importance of sitting at a desk making calls all day following scripts and fulfilling customer requests; however, maybe you should look at it in the perspective of the global industry as well as the skills you develop along the way.

Essentially, call centers in Belize are examples of business process outsourcing (BPO) initiatives, where companies in other countries seek to outsource and offshore their non-core functions to gain agility, efficiency, access to new talent and markets to ultimately save on costs. This global BPO industry grew by 10% amidst the global financial crisis in 2008. Offshoring estimates totaled USD 41 billion in 2011 and are expected to grow at a 7% cumulative annual growth rate until 2013 reaching a total opportunity of USD 52 billion. (Avasant, 2013) See graph.

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Yes! Belize has tapped into a global billion dollar industry. The BPO sector in Belize is currently gaining regional and international attention as it has seen 80% growth in recent years. Mr. Michael Singh, C.E.O. of the Ministry of Trade, comments that Belize is a strong alternative for companies seeking a near-shore advantage; leveraging our young, educated, English speaking population over far places like India and the Philippines. Continue reading “Not Just a Call Center Agent…”

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