caribbean export

Bowen and Bowen inaugurates state of the art bottling line facility


A new multi-million, state of the art soft drink bottling facility was inaugurated on Tuesday, 13th January by Bowen & Bowen Ltd as part of the company’s efforts to increase its competitive edge to secure its fair share of the local market, which in recent years has been flooded by an expanding number of imported brands.

The beverage market in Belize is becoming more competitive with products now being imported from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

To maintain its market share, Bowen and Bowen Ltd decided to upgrade its soft drink manufacturing and beer fermentation and bottling capacity at its facilities in Ladyville. This investment is mainly in the form of new bottling equipment in line with the requirements that the international holders (Coca Cola, Fanta and Guinness) are demanding.


The project will cost approximately Bz 79 million and will be implemented in three main phases over a period five years  with the soft drink bottling facility being on the top list.

B & B employee at the switch - Copy

According to Michael Bowen, President and CEO of Bowen and Bowen, the new facility is valued at  approximately Bz $40 million and can process 22,000 bottles per hour.

Bowen and Bowen is  the producer of Lighthouse Lager, Belikin Beer and Stout, Belikin Premium, Guinness Stout, Coca Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Crystal Water and Crystal Fruit Beverage.

At the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the investment was emblematic of the company’s commitment to producing the finest products for the local market and the creation of jobs for Belizeans. He offered his congratulations to the management of Bowen and Bowen Ltd and reiterated his Government’s unwavering support for the project.

Hon. Dean Barrow


Under the Government of Belize’s Fiscal Incentive Programme, the Bowen and Bowen expansion project was granted a development concession, which is being administered by the  Aftercare Unit of the Belize Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), to assist the company to increase the feasibility for the  full implementation of its expansion plan.

BELTRAIDE’s mission is to enhance Belize’s prosperity by fostering investment confidence, entrepreneurship, business growth and innovation. In addition to its main functions, BELTRAIDE also operates the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize) and the Belize Training Employment Centre (BTEC), which are based in Belize City.

Since its establishment in 2011 over 8,000 local and international businesses have benefited from BELTRAIDE services.




The inaugural ceremony was attended by over 2,000 company employees, government officials, members of the House of Representatives  and Ministers of Government,  including Hon Tracy Taegar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce. Minister Taegar is also the Minister responsible for Beltraide.

Members of cabinet
(L-R) Hon. Tracy Taegar- Panton, Hon. Beverly Castillo, Hon. Godwin Hulse, Hon. Anthony Martinez, Hon. Michael Finnegan 




Exploring Business Opportunities in Cuba!

EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE participated  in La Feria International de La Havana (FIHAV) 2015 in Havana , Cuba from November 2nd – 6th. FIHAV is a multi-sectorial trade fair which had representation from over 60 countries showcasing their products throughout 25 different pavilions.  Exhibitors had opportunity to establish contacts, close business deals, exchange business experiences and become familiar with new technological developments.

EXPORTBelize participated in pre-arranged business meetings which were facilitated by the Embassy of Belize in Cuba and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce.  The objective of our participation was to conduct an initial assessment of the opportunities for Belizean products to be exported and to learn how to conduct business in Cuba.  Some of products of interest includes chocolate liqueur, corn, beans, juices, hot sauces, furniture, cleaning products, chicken and beef.FIHAV2

EXPORTBelize received strong inquiries for various Belizean products and will continue discussions with Belizean producers and all the necessary government officials responsible for importation in Cuba to facilitate matchmaking and to foster trading relationships between the two countries.


The aim of the Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards is to create an export culture across the region by encouraging CARIFORUM firms to begin exporting or to expand

CEYA-Banner-2015croptheir exports through a programme that acknowledges and rewards exporters.

The specific objectives are:

  • To give recognition to exporters (SMEs) that have demonstrated an ability to achieve exporting success as demonstrated primarily through export volumes, diversity of export markets and sound export strategies and action plans;
  • To give recognition to youth and female exporters across the CARIFORUM region;
  • To give recognition to exporters that have integrated green technologies into their operations;
  • To encourage exporters to innovate by investing in R & D to improve product development and;
  • To encourage exporters to engage in corporate social responsibility.

Firms can be nominated in more than one category. Entry is by nomination from a business support organization, government institution, or peer within the CARIFORUM region through Caribbean Export’s website ( by February 27, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.  Applications submitted by any other method or after the deadline will not be accepted.

Description of Awards

Emerging Exporter of the Year 
The Emerging Exporter of the Year Award recognises a company that has entered the export market within the last 3 years and has already experienced success.

Young Exporter of the Year 
The Young Exporter of the Year Award recognises a company whose principle shareholder is 35 years or younger and is a successful exporter.

Female Exporter of the Year
The Female Exporter of the Year Award recognises a company whose principle shareholder is female and is a successful exporter.

Green Exporter of the Year
The Green Exporter of the Year Award recognizes an exporter that has invested in green technologies and integrated alternative/renewable energy solutions into its operations that has allowed it to experience exporting success.

Caribbean Exporter of the Year
The Caribbean Exporter of the Year Award recognizes a Caribbean firm that has achieved significant exporting success and whose brand epitomizes Caribbean Export’s guiding philosophy of “Taking Caribbean Excellence to the World.”

Special Award – Excellence in Services Exports
The Special Award recognizes an outstanding Caribbean firm that has successfully exported its services.

Eligibility Criteria

The awards are open to all firms within the CARIFORUM region that meet the eligibility criteria (see below) and are nominated by a business support organization, government institution or peer within the CARIFORUM region.Nomination forms are available on Caribbean Export’s website and should be submitted electronically on or beforeFebruary 27, 2015. Winners will be announced prior to the awards ceremony scheduled for April 16, 2015.

Interested applicants should meet the General Eligibility Criteria in addition to the relevant Award Specific Criteria to which they are applying.

General Eligibility Criteria 


  • Must be a registered company headquartered in a CARIFORUM country;
  • Must be majority owned by a CARIFORUM national;
  • Must have an established market presence in at least one export market (regional and international)
  • Must have been in operation for at least three (3) years and exporting for at least two (2) of those years (with the exception of the emerging exporter of the year award)
  • Product or service exported must contain significant CARIFORUM content
  • Produces goods/services that demonstrate significant appeal in the export market
  • Must have annual export earnings of at least US$50,000 (with the exception of the Emerging Exporter of the Year Award) 

Award Specific Eligibility Criteria

Emerging Exporter of the Year 

  • Firm must have annual export earnings of at least US$20,000
  • Firm has been in operation for three years or less and has been actively exporting for a maximum of three (3) years 

Young Exporter of the Year 

  • Principle shareholder (owns at least 51% of firm) must be 35 years or younger as at December 31st 2015 and must be active in daily operations of firm

Female Exporter of the Year

  • Principle shareholder (owns at least 51% of firm) must be female of the firm and must be active in daily operations of firm 

Green Exporter of the Year 

  • Firm has prioritised investment in green technologies to enhance competitiveness
  • Firm has realised significant benefits (economic/environmental) as a result of integrating alternative/renewable energy solutions into its operations

Caribbean Exporter of the Year 

  • Firm has demonstrated innovation in the area of product development
  • Firm has provided increased employment opportunities to CARIFORUM nationals with emphasis on women and youth employment
  • Firm has demonstrated corporate social responsibility in the communities in which it operates 

Special Award – Excellence in Services Exports

  • Firm must be an exporter of services

Partial Scope Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala

The negotiations on the Partial Scope Agreement (PSA), between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of Guatemala, were launched on November 22, 2004. Both countries signed the agreement on 26th June, 2006. In 2009, Belize deposited its Instrument of Ratification to the CARICOM Secretariat and obtained CARICOM’s approval of the Agreement and completed its internal process of ratification that year. Guatemala completed its ratification in March of 2010. With the exchange of information notifying the completion of the internal process in each country, the PSA took effect on 4th April, 2010, thirty days after Guatemala completed its internal process of ratification.

This is Belize’s first negotiated bilateral trade agreement and one which takes into account the obligations to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This agreement has been seen as an opportunity to enhance trade and commercial relations for both countries.

Currently, Belize has completed the three phases of tariff reductions as outlined in the Tariff Schedules of the Agreement. The main products benefiting from this agreement are: citrus, tilapia, cattle, yellow corn, black beans, red beans, poultry and pepper sauce. This market is expected to offer premium prices relative to world prices. The PSA covers 150 goods, including certain goods under the headings of: animal products; prepared foodstuffs; products of the chemical or allied industries; plastics and articles thereof: rubber and articles thereof; wood and article of wood, wood charcoal; paper and paperboard, articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard; textiles and textiles articles; footwear, gaiter and the like; parts of such articles; glass and glassware; base metals and articles of base metal; and other items.

Continue reading “Partial Scope Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala”

Caribbean Export: Special Call for Proposals- Food Safety



Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety for CARIFORUM Agro- Processing Firms

The Caribbean Export Development Agency officially announces the publication of the Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety for CARIFORUM agro- processing firms to receive financial assistance as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
The Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety is a reimbursable grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered agro processing firms within the CARIFORUM region who are exporting or have the potential to export their products to the European Union. It is a facility for firms looking for funding to support their capacity building to meet the food production standards of the European Union (EU) market.

While the challenge also exists among the large enterprises in the Region, it is very prevalent among small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (MSMEs).  The allocation of this funding is hoped to ensure that goods of regional origin are produced under standard quality control conditions to meet the sanitary and regulatory requirements of the EU marketplace (such as HACCP, GAPs, GlobalGAP, ISO 14000, Fair Trade Certification, BRC, QF 1000, Primus GFS etc).
The Agency is offering, with this Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety, grants of up to 10,000 euros which represent a maximum of 70% of the total project cost to CARIFORUM based agro-processing firms. Firms that are exporting or demonstrate their potential to export and who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply to this Call.
The deadline for this Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety is July 9, 2014 and more information can be found at For more details or to take part in the Call, please contact Sam Kruiner, Special Advisor – Export Development at or +1(246) 436-0578, Fax: +1(246) 436-9999.




Bridgetown, BARBADOS, February 28, 2014.  Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) urges the regions private sector to take advantage of the funds made available under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme facilitated by the Agency as part of of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).


Firms can apply for grants of up to €30,000 providing firms meet the eligibility criteria, their applications are accepted and they are exporting or demonstrate the potential to export goods and services.


Throughout 2012 and 2013 the Agency has conducted grant proposal workshops across CARIFORUM to prepare BSOs and firms ahead of this current Call for Proposals that was announced on January 17, 2014.   In the previous Call for Proposals in 2012 the Agency received two hundred and thirty-nine (239) applications that attained or exceeded the eligibility threshold.It is hoped that in this penultimate year of the 10th EDF the Agency receives a record number of applicants to maximise the utilisation of the funds made available and increase the number of businesses that are awarded.


Strengthening the Institutional Architecture for Investment Attraction in Belize

22 Jan 2014

End of Project Evaluation (Deadline: 14 February, 2014)

Aside from Caribbean micro-states, Belize was as of 2009, the fourth most open economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Belize’s population is small (313,000 inhabitants), which limits the size of the domestic market and potential economies of scale. The economy depends strongly on trade with the world economy, both as market for domestic production and as a source of the wide range of products that would be costly or impossible to produce domestically.

In 1997, with the support of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the Trade and Investment Promotion Service (TIPS) was established in 1997. This institution was mandated to be the focal point for all trade and investment information and facilitation services. In March 1997 the scope of TIPS was broadened to serve as a “one stop shop” for local and foreign investors. In the year 2000, TIPS changed its name to Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE).

BELTRAIDE’s functions include a number of responsibilities for export promotion, investment attraction and SME development. BELTRAIDE has not been able to proactively promote investments in key high growth sectors because of resource constraints. In 2009, BELTRAIDE initiated an Organizational Evaluation to assess and benchmark the organization against similar Investment and Trade Promotion Organizations in the region. This assessment constituted a starting point for analysing the institution, presented a detailed organizational analysis, including recommendations for improving strategic leadership, financial management, human resources management and development, monitoring and evaluation, Information Technology (IT) services, organizational communications, among others. However, the assessment lacked an implementation plan, and a solid analysis and recommendations on the operation of its three main functional areas (export promotion, investment attraction, and SME development) and comparisons to regional and international best practices. Continue reading “Strengthening the Institutional Architecture for Investment Attraction in Belize”




Bridgetown, Barbados, October 14, 2013. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is pleased to announce that following the recent call for designers, seven designers have been selected to be supported to attend Dominicana Moda (DM2013) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on October 21-26, 2013.


The seven fashion design firms are; ILashan Apparel & Handmade Jewelry from The Bahamas; the Andrew Harris Collection of Barbados; Odanis Valdez Polonia from the Dominican Republic; MARSAE of Guyana; Mag Art from Haiti; Patwa Apparel Ltd from Jamaica and MEILING Inc. from Trinidad and Tobago.


The selection panel included the Artistic Director of Salon de la Fama SRL; Mr. Socrates Mckinney, the Deputy Director of Escuela Chavon (affiliated with Parsons School of Design),   Mr. Adolfo Lucero and Mrs. Ileana Tejada from Caribbean Export.  The team reviewed 27 applications from across the region and scored them based on criteria such as completeness of application, availability of collections that will be showcased, experience and potentiality to export their talent in an international level.




Bridgetown, Barbados, October 3, 2013. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is pleased to announce that four of the 12 companies being supported to attend ANUGA on 5-9, October 2013, as part of the Caribbean Kitchen have been selected for the prestigious Taste13 awards.

ANUGA is the world’s largest and most important trade fair for the food and beverage industry with around 6,700 exhibitors from about 100 countries.   This year there were over 1200 products that entered the competition and 53 made the final selection.  To have 4 Caribbean brands selected is unprecedented and it is believed by the organizers that all eyes will be on Caribbean Kitchen’s pavilion next week to see how the products stack up against the international competition. “It is just amazing that the independent journalist jury decided to choose four products for the taste13 – selection, that are all part of the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion at Anuga 2013. It proves that original well-conceived products do convince” stated Christine Hackman, Communications Manager for ANUGA.

The four companies that have been selected for the taste13 competition are; Baron Foods Ltd with their ‘Banana Ketchup’ (Saint Lucia); Beverages Caribbean Inc. with ‘Tiger Malt’ (Barbados); 10 Saints beer by 10 Saints Brewery Ltd (Barbados) and Fresh Fruits Flavours one of Marie Sharp’s Habanerno Sauces (Belize).


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