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PRESS RELEASE: Strengthening the Bilateral Trade and Investment Relationship between Belize and Florida


On March 3 – 4, 2020, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), a statutory body under the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce of the Government of Belize (GOB), were hosted at a two (2) day outbound Belize Business Mission in Tallahassee, the capital city of the state of Florida in the U.S. Belize and the state of Florida have long maintained bilateral commercial relationships in areas of trade, investment and enterprise development. Apart from serving as the primary port and airlift gateway for Belizean exports and travelers into the U.S., many members of the Belizean diaspora also currently reside within the state presenting several opportunities for greater commercial, educational and other exchanges in development.  

For this reason, the mission was organized around the core objective of further assessing key points of partnership in trade and investment development with the state of Florida specifically, while promoting bilateral opportunities for market access and investment diversification. As a part of the visit, several meetings were held at the State Capitol with key members of the state’s legislature including members of the Senate and House of Representatives. The visit also included meetings with Florida’s Secretary of State, Laurel M. Lee, and Florida’s Lieutenant Governor, Jeanette Nuñez, in further discussing bilateral trade and investment engagements between Belize and the State of Florida. Furthermore, the mission included a meeting with Mr. Jamal Sowell, Secretary of Commerce and the CEO of Enterprise Florida, BELTRAIDE’s counterpart trade promotion and development agency.

The Belize delegation was led by Dr. Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director of BELTRAIDE and included Ms. Shahera McKoy, Manager of EXPORTBelize, and Mr. Hero Balani, Manager of BelizeINVEST Generation, units of BELTRAIDE. The mission was organized in collaboration with Mr. Michael D. Young, Executive Director of the Belize American Chamber of Commerce, as well as, Mr. Shawn Foster and Mr. Sam Wagoner of Sunrise Consulting Group in Florida. Several follow up actions are already underway including the potential organization of a follow-up mission from Florida to Belize from September 10 – 14, 2020.

Minister Panton delivers Keynote Address at Galen University Graduation


 

On Sunday, May 22nd, 2016, Galen University graduated ninety-nine students at its 13th Commencement Exercises held at the Muffles College Auditorium in Orange Walk Town.

Graduates received degreesin various fields including Anthropology, Environmental Science, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Accounting and Business Administration.

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Hon. Tracy Taegar- Panton, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the emerging socio-economic needs and challenges in the public and private sectors and how  Belizeans can combine their skills, talents and experiences to shape a new future.  The minister stressed the importance of diversifying our economic base using technology, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship as well as maintaining open dialogue to foster co-ordination and objectivity on matters of national importance.

Galen University is a private Belizean university chartered and licensed by the Government of Belize. Its mission is to provide excellence in undergraduate, graduate and professional education to prepare students to achieve their dreams and goals. The university is committed to providing an exciting and stimulating a learning environment, innovative and supportive teaching, scholarships and active service to the community – with a unique focus on sustainable development throughout its courses, programmes and service

Continue reading “Minister Panton delivers Keynote Address at Galen University Graduation”

Six budding Belizean entrepreneurs displayed their products at this year’s National Agriculture and Trade Show !


As part of its mission to assist small business owners to become more competitive, Beltraide established a booth at the National Agriculture and Trade Show in Belmopan, which allowed several locally owned businesses to market and sell their products to a wide market of Belizean consumers.

Visitors to the booth had the opportunity to sample Fibber’s sauces, a variety of jams from Belizean Home Made Jellies, Tambranero sauces, mosquito repellent and beauty products from Jerusalem Beauty Company, beauty products from Cocoa & Company and Che’il Mayan chocolates.

 

Visitors also obtained first-hand information on the services offered by Beltraide as part of its role to attract and facilitate investment to Belize. The highlight of the activities at the booth was the raffling of  a gift basket of Belizean products and a basket of Jams courtesy of Belizean Home Made Jellies.

Minister Erwin Contreras talks trade opportunities with SoFla


 

Belize was at the top of the business agenda this week, as Belizean Minister of International Trade Erwin Contreras stopped by at the Lauderdale Lakes Educational and Cultural Center for the “Doing Business in Belize” workshop.

During a special meet and greet session with workshop attendees, the Minister outlined the nation’s many commercial and trading opportunities in renewable energy, agro-processing, tourism, and food and beverage production and packaging. The Minister also encouraged participants to attend the upcoming trade mission, hosted by the Miramar based Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida.

The trade workshop, hosted by the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD), is part of a year-long series highlighting trading opportunities with many key partners of South Florida’s economy. Representative Hero Balani from the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) was on hand to update participants on the latest initiatives. He highlighted the country’s unique and respected reputation in the rapidly expanding fair trade and eco-label market. A spotlight was also shone on the country’s competitive investment incentives. This includes an export processing zone, offering multiple tax exemptions, including full import and export duty exemptions. The Fiscal Incentives Program also encourages investments in Belize through duty exemptions and tax holidays, providing both current and new investors with the legal and fiscal framework to stimulate productive economic activities.

Shared from Caribbean National Weekly

Read more here!

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITION DURING ECONOMIC RECESSION


During 2015, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis continued to impact negatively on the economic and social welfare of the CARICOM Member States and their citizens.
Unfortunately, another difficult year is ahead of us with many economic challenges anticipated both within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and extra-regionally. The global economy is projected to show modest growth when compared to 2015. However, at the regional level the situation remains uncertain with potential downside risks including falling global oil and commodity prices and bouts of financial volatility, which could result in lower than expected economic growth for Member States.
The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) is acutely aware that as economic improvement is slow in coming, and as domestic demand within the Member States remains weak, anti-competitive conduct such as collusive agreements and abuse of dominance are likely to abound in 2016. Additionally, unfair trade practices of large companies against small and medium-sized businesses may also harm the economies in the CSME, and ultimately reduce consumer welfare.

The CCC is also mindful that in difficult economic times, Governments sometimes believe that they are protecting consumers by restricting competition in key sectors such as utilities, health, public procurement and energy. This is done by preventing the entry of new players into markets through licensing and regulatory restrictions; regulating prices through price or margin controls; and limiting certain contracts only to local firms e.g. office furniture, and stationery and office supplies, drugs, and road works.
The CCC therefore views 2016 as a pivotal year in the enforcement of competition law, as well as advocacy for consumer protection in the region. This is with the unrelenting view that competition and consumer protection initiatives can help ease the difficulties faced by consumers as a result of anti-competitive conduct and austere Government policies implemented during periods of recession.

For 2016, drawing upon the work program which has already been approved by Member States, the CCC will continue to vigorously protect and maximise consumer welfare in the CARICOM region. Accordingly, the CCC intends to make consumers the focus of its message to Governments and parliamentarians, sector regulators, the business community, and other special interest groups such as the judiciary, media, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
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In this regard, the CCC will continue to work closely with National Consumer Protection Agencies and Consumer NGOs in CARICOM Member States on initiatives which commenced in 2015 such as:
• The establishment of national and regional consumer complaints databases and their effective uses for consumer protection enforcement;
• Research into priority areas for consumers such as financial services and utility regulation; and
• Consumer education.
With respect to competition policy, the CCC will establish the CARICOM Competition Network (CCN) in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat CSME Unit, and national competition authorities (NCAs) in the CSME, in 2016. The CCN will seek to encourage closer collaboration between NCAs on matters such as:
• Harmonization of investigation procedures;
• Administrative and legislative barriers to efficiency in competition investigations;
• Information exchange;
• Development of CSME Product Market Indicators; and
• Competition Training and Education programme.

In conclusion, as the designated regional advocate for competition and consumer protection, the CCC takes this opportunity to encourage Governments and sector regulators to view this period of financial constraints as an opportunity to implement or enforce policies that maximise competition among existing operators; facilitate entry and investment of new entrants into markets; and modernise the legislative and regulatory framework for competition and consumer protection. For its part, the CCC will continue to promote and lay the groundwork for the principles of competition law and policy and the effectiveness of consumer protection enforcement in the region.

Further information about the work of the CCC, can be accessed by contacting admin@ccc.sr with your questions or by utilising the query facility on http://www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com

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