Caribbean Export and EU Offers Grants to the Region’s Food Producers


The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially announced 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) on May 28, 2014.

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 the 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’s Executive Director, Pamela Coke Hamilton in her address at the launch event of the Call and it’s Food safety Preparedness Programme counterparts stated, ”This call, with a total commitment of US $200,000 seeks to ensure that food and beverage firms produce their goods under standard quality control conditions to meet the sanitary and regulatory requirements of the international marketplace and to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the EPA… Through this special call, we endeavour to increase the number of CARIFORUM agro-processors certified to export to the EU and beyond.”

Under the 10th EDF RPSDP the Agency is offering with this special call for proposal – 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 special call for proposal – food safety.

The deadline for this Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety is July 9, 2014 and more information can be found at  Contact: Sam Kruiner, Special Advisor – Export Development ( , Caribbean Export Development Agency, Tel: +1(246) 436-0578, Fax: +1(246) 436-9999

Continue reading “Caribbean Export and EU Offers Grants to the Region’s Food Producers”

Workshop on Women’s Micro-sized Enterprises Start-up and Credit Facilities


Since the late 1960s, the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been offering international assistance through technical cooperation programs, while establishing friendly relations with countries in Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.


In the 1980s, as a result of Taiwan considerable economic achievements and a favorable international trade balance, Taiwan intensified its lending and cooperation programs.  Over the past few decades, the Committee of International Technical Cooperation (CITC) and the International Economic Cooperation Development Fund (IECDF) accumulated invaluable experiences as they demonstrated solid achievements in bilateral cooperation.

As the cooperative ventures became more complex and diverse, and the international community began to look to Taiwan for more cooperation, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF) was founded in 1996 to consolidate and manage these initiatives.  This marked a new stage in Taiwan’s international cooperation program. Continue reading “Workshop on Women’s Micro-sized Enterprises Start-up and Credit Facilities”

SBDCBelize- Its Here, Its Real, and Its Opened to the General Public!

Do you have the idea of starting  your own business? Or are you an established business that simply needs ideas on how you can improve?

At approximately 8:00a.m., this Thursday morning, all the buzzing stopped and the work began, when Belize’s First Small Business Development Center(SBDCBelize) opened to serve the general public.

The center will administer customized needs- based services to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, in order to facilitate their competitiveness and export readiness.

SBDCBelize will provide advisory services and training on:

  • How to start a business
  • How to develop a business plan
  • Getting access to finances, and managing finances effectively
  • Engaging in marketing and sales
  • Managing human resources

Visit SBDCBelize Today, we are located in Belize City, at the University of Belize Campus,  Faculty of Business Studies, West Landivar. Don’t have the time to stop by, then give us a call, at 223-3195, or send us an email:

SBDCBelize: Making Small Business Happen


(Story featured in The Reporter Newspaper)

Atlantic Bank in Belize City has announced that through financial collaboration with the IFC  and the Canadian International Development Agency, the bank will  have more than $15 million for onlending to small and medium development enterprises in Belize.

This new infusion of cash represents a 40 percent increase in A.B’s SME portfolio over the next five years.

Announcing the good news this week Atlantic’s General Manager in Belize, Mrs. Sandra Bedran said:“We welcome IFC as a partner in our effort to create a sustainable and prosperous business environment for our SMEs, and look forward to helping the country diversify and increase economic activity where it is most needed.”

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. IFC creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and through the delivery of advisory services to ensure sustainable development.

In a time of global economic uncertainty, IFC’s new investments climbed to a record $19 billion in fiscal 2011.

Atlantic Bank is Belize’s third largest bank in terms of assets and loans disbursed. The bank has 15 locations across the country and works with individuals, small businesses, and corporations, offering a wide range of banking products and services including credit cards, online banking, savings and deposits, payroll  and merchant services.

Atlantic Bank Ltd, established more than 40 years ago, is a 55-percent owned subsidiary of Sociedad Nacional de Inversiones, S.A. of Honduran.

Atlantic Bank has not indicated what rate structures it will put in place for its development loans.

It is anticipated it may have to compete with credit unions which now offer personalized loans at the rate of one percent a month on the remaining balance.



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