Archive for January, 2007

Mexico will return lands to Belize

Monday, January 29th, 2007

On January 3, 2007, the Government of Mexico announced that its intention to return to Belize land, wrongfully delimitated in the distant past.

This announcement was made by Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Relations, however, the areas or size of lands to be returned to Belize were not specified.

As an example, the announcement indicated Chetumal Bay, which since a July 1983 Treaty is considered to be Mexican territory, but it rightfully belongs to Belize. This area is to be proposed as a part of Belize.

The new proposed border areas will now be carefully studied by Belizean authorities. If a new Border Treaty is signed between Belize and Mexico, the changes will take effect.

Over the last few years, Mexico and Belize have enjoyed improving bi-lateral relations. Last year, former President Vicente Fox visited Belize and met with Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa during his visit.

BHL goes into Belize

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Banks Holdings Ltd. (BHL) has made its way into Belize market with new investments in beverage manufacturers there by securing 46.58% ownership of the Citrus Products of Belize Ltd. (CPBL) for USD 32 million.

BHL CEO Richard Cozier described the Belize deal as a major boost for the Banks Holdings Ltd. group because Belize was the leading citrus grower and citrus concentrates processor in the Central American region and, so, the deal would provide guaranteed supply at a guaranteed cost for group’s Pine Hill Dairy (PHD) juices. Also, the deal would provide a launch pad for PHD products into Central America.

Mr. Cozier recently told that the worldwide demand for frozen juice concentrate is continuing to grow and prices are unlikely to fall.

Officials from the UK visit Belize

Friday, January 19th, 2007

In the middle of January, a team of officials from the United Kingdom Office of the Department for International Development (D-FID) began an official visit to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belmopan.

The leader of the team is Senior Natural Resources and Environment Adviser in D-FID’s overseas territories department, Richard Beales. He came to hold discussions with the Executive Director of the Centre, Doctor Kenrick Leslie as well as his technical team to finalize an important proposal. The proposal is aimed at providing the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla with the opportunity to participate in regional climate change capacity building activities carried out in CARICOM countries and managed by the Climate Change Centre.

IMF discusses Economic Developments in Belize

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

In the end of December, the International Monetary Fund published an open letter addressed to the international financial community. In the letter, IMF Managing Director, Rodrigo De Rato discussed the progress towards economic reform made by the Belize government in the last couple of years.

Rodrigo De Rato said that, over the past 2 years, the authorities had made commendable strides in correcting serious macroeconomic imbalances that were based on their adjustment strategy. In accordance with IMF Managing Director’s explanation, tax measures and expenditure cuts have led to a notable improvement in the primary balance of government. A deficit of 3% of GDP in financial year 2003/04 (April to March) turned into a surplus of 3% of GDP in financial year 2005/06.

However, he does not consider these efforts to be sufficient to bring the economy back onto a sustainable path. Therefore, the authorities are undertaking further adjustment efforts during financial year 2006/07 and further.

In the letter, Rodrigo De Rato discussed also Belize’s debt exchange offer that has already been discussed previously.

All in all, the IMF has welcomed the progress, which Belize authorities have made – this regards addressing country’s serious macroeconomic imbalances in the context of a home-grown adjustment strategy. Nevertheless, the situation of Belize will be vulnerable for some time, which provides little space for slippage in implementing the policy framework.