Last week, the Government of Belize revealed its strategic plan to grow Belize’s economy. The plan is called “Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy” (GSDS), and it runs from 2016 to 2019.
The strategy was launched by the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, the strategy on April 7.
The report aims at harmonizing economic, social, and environmental policies with a view to produce optimal outcomes.
The strategy hinges upon 4 core themes, or “Critical Success Factors”, including as follows:
- optimal national income and investment;
- social cohesion and resilience;
- natural, environmental, historical and cultural assets;
- governance and citizen security.
Also, the plan lays out the conditions necessary for the four thematic areas to be developed appropriately.
According to the Ministry, using the GSDS as a guide, Belize will seek to achieve real output growth of 5% annually over a prolonged period.
When weighed against an estimated population growth of about 2%, this level of targeted output will lead to a sustained improvement in per capita income of approximately 33% over a 10 year period, reducing the number of people living in poverty by half by 2030.
The Government of Belize acknowledged that output will not increase to 5% within the short term; but the actions under the GSDS will set the stage for that level of growth to become possible.
Also, the strategy sets targets such as:
- achieving more equitable income distribution,
- reducing the number of homicides to under 10 per 100,000 inhabitants annually,
- providing universal access to basic and early childhood education,
- providing universal access to health care,
- maintaining or raising life expectancy beyond the current level of 74 years,
- reducing the incidence of morbidity and mortality resulting from a selected set of ailments.
“It places at the fore, sustainable development, reflecting a whole-system approach, and acknowledging increasing prosperity, eradicating poverty, improving social cohesion, caring for our natural resources, and securing peace and justice for all Belizeans as inter-connected goals,” Economic Development Minister Erwin Contreras said.