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Government of Belize

BELTRAIDE COVID-19 RESPONSE: SERVING CLIENTS REMOTELY


Stemming from the global COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Belize announced a series of measures in response to this imminent threat, including proper hygiene and social distancing. Even though there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize at this time, our
team at BELTRAIDE is taking preventative measures to protect our employees and clients.

Therefore, while BELTRAIDE remains open for business, we strongly encourage our clients and members of the public to contact us via telephone or email to ensure that all are protected, in the event that the current situation changes. Rest assured that our team is fully equipped
to provide the required services to fulfill your business needs virtually.

Kindly contact us for support and services via the following:
BelizeINVEST for Investment and Aftercare Services:
Tel: 822-3553 or Email: investment@belizeinvest.org.bz
EXPORTBelize for Trade Opportunity and Export Services:
Tel: 822-3553 or Email: export@belizeinvest.org.bz
SBDCBelize for Small Business Development and Business Advisory Services:
Tel: +501-223-3195 or Email: sbdcbelize@belizeinvest.org.bz
BTEC for Employee Development and Capacity Building:
Tel: +501-223-0322 or Email: btec@belizeinvest.org.bz
For other services please contact our Headquarters in Belmopan via Tel: +501-822-3553 or Email: beltraide@belizeinvest.org.bz


BELTRAIDE remains committed to providing high-quality services to our clients and will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic through updated press releases from the Government of Belize and the Ministry of Health. We encourage the members of the public to remain vigilant, protect yourself and your families and stay informed by following the Ministry of Health’s social media pages.

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Belize Infrastructure Limited seeks partners for the operation of the Belize Civic Centre


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PRESS RELEASE
The new Belize Civic Center Sports Complex is nearing completion. With international standard volleyball and basketball courts, bleachers, concession rooms, locker facilities, stage venue, ticket booths, a skateboard park, gym area and exterior five-a-side football pitch and many other amenities, the complex will help transform Belize’s sporting and cultural life.
The Government of Belize, through Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), will soon be looking for an experienced and dedicated private partner to take on the maintenance and operations of the Belize Civic Center Sports Complex. Belize Infrastructure Limited will therefore be inviting potentially interested and qualified parties – with the technical capacity to deliver the full scope of services and the financial capacity to fund the necessary outfits as well as any capital improvements – to express their interest in participating in the procurement for the Management Contract.

This Release serves as early notice for any initial preparation to interested and qualified parties, now alerted to this opportunity, and can expect to see the Request for Expressions of Interest from Belize Infrastructure Limited forthcoming.
For any further questions, kindly contact sandra.cuello@bil.gov.bz.

Belize Investment Portfolio Campaign to fast-track investment in Belize


The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), is pleased to announce the official launch the Belize Investment Portfolio Campaign on Friday, 25th November at the Radisson Fort George Hotel.

BELTRAIDE is able to present this historic campaign in support by its line ministry, the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, as well by ConnectAmericas, of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, (CAIPA).

The countrywide campaign is expected to foster the development of a national portfolio to fast-track investment generation efforts, both local and foreign, through targeted matchmaking of pre-packaged investment concepts and projects.

Through the advancement of the campaign, BELTRAIDE, through its technical unit BelizeINVEST, mandated to serve as Belize’s National Investment Promotion Agency (IPA), expects to further substantiate selected investment concepts submitted by key public sector Government Ministries and stakeholders into actionable business cases aligned with national development priorities.

Additionally, the campaign strives to support qualified private sector investment projects seeking financing and / or investment partners by promoting and matchmaking these “shovel ready” business opportunities through various platforms regionally, inclusive of ConnectAmericas and CAIPA, key supporters and collaborators of this initiative in Belize.

 

The official launch of the Belize Investment Portfolio Campaign will be held on Friday, November 25th, 2016 at the Cahal Pech Room, Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina, Belize City commencing at 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. For more information on the campaign kindly visit http://www.belizeinvest.org.bz/investmentportfolio or email investmentportfolio@belizeinvest.org.bz

The media is cordially invited to provide coverage of the event.

 

For more information, please feel free to contact:

Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE)

14 Orchid Garden St., City of Belmopan, Cayo District, Belize,

Email: beltraide@belizeinvest.org.bz

The Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment visits with BNE!


The Cabinet Subcommittee on Investments (CSCI) visited Belize Natural Energy (BNE) along with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in exploring energy investment opportunities on May 6th, 2016. In attendance included the Chair of the Subcommittee, Hon. Tracy Taegar Panton, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce along with Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Hon. Vanessa Retreage, Attorney General at the Attorney General’s Ministry. The BNE team provided the delegation with a very insightful tour of the facilities including the components on oil and gas.

 

The Cabinet Subcommittee on Investments (CSCI) is a ministerial committee that was established in early 2013 to review large scale investment projects and conduct assessments ensuring meaningful investments while maximizing benefits to the people and Government of Belize. BELTRAIDE serves as the secretariat. For further details on investment opportunities in Belize, feel free to contact BelizeINVEST, a unit of BELTRAIDE at investment@belizeinvest.org.bz or +501-822-3737 / 0175.

Beltraide signs MOU with Atlantic Bank


 

On Wednesday March 16th the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE and Atlantic Bank Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to partner in outreach initiatives where possible. This first of its kind partnership features the Government’s leading development agency and one of the country’s largest financial commercial banks agreeing to sensitize entrepreneurs and the business community on services and products aimed to improve their business enterprises.

Beltraide X ABL MOU_00028

The agreement also seeks to promote global trade finance programs including pre-import and pre-export financing. Ms. Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager of Enterprise and Innovation Division, Beltraide signed on their behalf while Ms. Sandra Bedran signed on behalf of Atlantic Bank Ltd.

Beltraide X ABL MOU_00038
(L) Lejia Melanie Gideon – General Manager, Enterprise and Innovation Division , Beltraide and Ms. Sandra Bedran – Atlantic Bank Ltd. (R)

Beltraide X ABL MOU_00057
(L) Lejia Melanie Gideon – General Manager, Enterprise and Innovation Division , Beltraide and Ms. Sandra Bedran – Atlantic Bank Ltd. (R)

Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message 2016


Prime Minister delivers New Year’s message highlighting  a year of great accomplishments!

Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message 2016

My Fellow Belizeans:

There were many things to be grateful for in 2015.

We were spared from hurricanes; there were no social upheavals; we steered our way through the complexities of the relationship with Guatemala; and politically we capped everything with the peaceful and historic general elections of November.

Economically it was also a good year. Disease and the long drought played havoc with shrimp and grains. And an earlier than expected decrease in the export price was unwelcome news for our sugar cane farmers. But tourism saw continuing record advances, cost of living fell markedly, and there was an overall spurt in the rate of employment.

Our public works program reached its high point, so that there was tremendous infrastructural development and huge knock-on effects in jobs, income and spending. Government and quasi Government salary increases, commercial bank liquidity, greater access to credit and lower interest rates, also helped to boost consumer confidence and well-being.

Looking ahead to 2016, I say at once that the landscape is changed and the dynamics will be different. But I also say immediately that there are still multiple reasons for optimism, and that we see our way clear to another successful year.

Among the challenges that we will confront, the reduction in PetroCaribe flows is perhaps the most pronounced. With the dizzying fall in oil prices, we expect to get much less from these Venezuela loan funds than we did in 2015. And already 2015’s intake was only half of 2014.

This, combined with the drying up of earnings from our own petroleum exports, will put a severe crimp in Government revenues. It is what, in the face of the coming step-up in SuperBond payments and the Compensation Award expected to be handed down towards the middle of the year, has caused us to raise the duty on

fuel imports. The CIF price of these is so low that we were able to judge the increase a bearable burden. And with this, which is the only tax measure we will take, Government will be able to meet debt obligations and pay for expansion in services, particularly regarding national security and the acquisition of assets such as the three BDF helicopters and the two latest model Coast Guard boats.

Our trademark infrastructure drive will also continue, though now there will be a mix of funding sources. There is enough that we have set aside from the PetroCaribe days of plenty, to complete the countrywide BIL sporting projects (such as the Belize City Center) and the tourism road network improvements that we began in the last quarter of 2015. So construction proceeds apace on the Lamanai Road, the Cristo Rey/San Antonio Road, and the North Ambergris Road to the new Efrain Guerrero international Airport. IFIs including CDB, IDB, OFID, and the Kuwaiti Fund, will in turn finance the rehabilitation of the Philip Goldson Highway from the Airport junction to Belize City; the new Macal River crossing; the Hummingbird Highway; and the Belmopan to Benque redo.

OPEC/OFID will also fund, and their Board has just approved, a completely new PGIA Link Road with a bridge over the Belize River and extending from behind Gentrac to around Mile 8 on the George Price Highway. As well, there is the recently announced UK Government Caribbean Grant initiative. Belize’s share of this new aid endowment is in the region of 135 million Belize dollars to be spent, we propose, principally on the Road to Caracol.

The point is that in 2016 there will continue to be public infrastructure work and jobs aplenty, with all the multiplier benefits to our people that this entails.

In terms of the larger economy and the private and productive sector, the outlook is just as promising.

 

In agriculture, the grain farmers have taken full advantage of Government’s tax and duty moratorium on all irrigation equipment to reinvest in the sector with a view to expanded, post-drought production.

The poultry industry has recovered from the avian flu, and shrimp harvesting is expected by mid year to rebound completely from disease to take full advantage of continuing high export prices.

In citrus, factory consolidation should increase efficiencies, and external demand and payment for our by-products remain firm.

 

Sugar is not currently fetching the optimum returns in the European market that we would like. Nevertheless, the huge Santander investment in a factory and cane fields in the Cayo District has now come to fruition. Grinding operations are set to start by February. And the initial amount of 350 thousand tonnes of cane to be milled, should go up in year 2 to as much as 800 thousand tonnes. Apart from the foreign exchange earnings and permanent employment that the coming of sugar to the West brings, Santander is also negotiating a power purchase agreement with BEL to supply cheap co-generation energy to the local grid.

Overall, then, and despite the volatility inherent in the commodities sector and the temporary hole left in banana production by the suspension of Meridian farms, our agriculture is again proving its resilience and viability.

But it is in tourism that our prospects continue to shine brightest. In September, October and November of 2015, overnight arrivals exceeded the 2014 numbers for the same three months by 19.2%, 22.1% and 33% respectively. With the new Southwest and Copa airline services from the US and South America to Belize already launched; and with the scheduled commencement of direct flights from Canada in 2016, we expect to maintain and better the record breaking, year-over-year increases in stayover tourism.

 

On the Cruise side, there was a 9.2% passenger jump this November, the last full month of 2015 for which we already have the statistics, over November of 2014. And on that front the headline news for 2016 is twofold: NCL’s Harvest Caye project becomes fully operational by April and brings with it two thousand jobs for Southern Belize; and the Supreme Court ruling on Belize City Port exclusivity-or lack thereof-clears the way for us to greenlight a new, Old Capital alongside docking facility.

This latter will undoubtedly mean a significant ramping up of cruise calls via the country’s main harbour, and completes an overall tourism picture that we can paint in colors of unambiguous optimism.

The new cruise port will be built by the private sector in some form of partnership with Government, and we expect to develop the Commerce Bight container port in Stann Creek using the same model. Indeed, so committed are we to public-private partnerships that we will transition our special purpose vehicle Belize Infrastructure Limited to be Government’s agent to facilitate them. BIL will therefore be designated GOB’s Public-Private Partnership Unit.

More generally, our Administration has declared the need for Government to improve service delivery to the private sector and the citizenry as a whole. Accordingly, we also intend to appoint an official Monitor in 2016 to work with the Civil Service to ensure quality control in Government’s interaction with the public. The Monitor will as well have responsibility to review the implementation pace and effectiveness of all Government’s manifesto commitments.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Belizeans:

It is no coincidence that the 2015 general elections were fixed for the year’s last month but one. The timing was deliberate and the idea was that the new Administration should use December to settle in, then greet 2016 with a burst of freshness, energy and enthusiasm. I believe, then, that the symbiosis of new mandate and New Year will be not just symbolic, but a real spur to action. I also believe that we are well positioned by the basic soundness of our economy and our stewardship to make good on the explicit and implicit promises of our refreshed compact with the people. And most of all I believe that our sense of history, duty and destiny will give wing to our efforts now at following extraordinary opportunity with extraordinary results.

 

For all these reasons I invite everyone to feel confident that this time we will make more meaningful than ever our salutation that rings through the ages: “Happy New Year”, and God bless Belize.

 

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.


Da Dun Fine Art

19th Da Dun Exhibition

PM’s Annual Business Forum:Strengthening The Relationship Between The Public and Private Sector


As a commitment to strengthen the relationship between the Public and the Private sector of Belize, a second annual business forum was held today at Old Belize. This forum brought members from both the private and public sector, to a table of discussion on how develop Belize’s economy.

During the course of the day, presenters elaborated on Agriculture and the Agro-Industry, Taxation, the Investments, Trade and Business Climate, as well as, the Banking and Financial state of our country, and finally the crime situation. Today’s presenters included: CEO’s fromt he Ministry of Agriculture and Trade, Mr. Jose Alpuche and Mr. Michael Singh respectively, as well as, the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Glen Ysaguirre, the Financial Secretary Mr, Joseph Waight, and the Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar.

Last year, a steering committee, called the Economic Development Council (EDC), was appointed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, to follow up with the issues that were raised particularly by the private sector. Continue reading “PM’s Annual Business Forum:Strengthening The Relationship Between The Public and Private Sector”

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