Archive for August, 2007

Belize warns to be cautious with Online Gaming Licences

Friday, August 31st, 2007

On August 28, 2007, the Government of Belize announced that it has discovered several online gaming websites that falsely claim having online gaming licences from Belize.

The Government has issued a statement advising internet users that only 2 online gaming companies have with licence to operate from Belize. These are Fulton Data Processing Limited and Bwin Intercontinental Limited. Any other company has no licence from Belize, whatever it might claim.

Every online gaming company in Belize is obliged to have licensing under the Gaming Control Act and its Online Gaming Regulations.

The Gaming Control Board of Belize issues Online Gaming licenses to reputable companies with proven track records in gaming. Only persons with integrity and competence having adequate financial means are considered for a licence.

Belize Prime Minister and delegation returns from Venezuela

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

On August 12, 2007, Prime Minister Said Musa and a delegation came back to Belize after representing the country in Caracas, Venezuela, at the 3rd Heads of Government and States Meeting and the 2nd Meeting of Ministers for the Petro-Caribe Summit.

Minister of Home Affairs and Public Utilities Ralph Fonseca and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Amalia Mai were the members of the Belizean delegation.

The chairman of the Heads of State Summit was Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, while Venezuela’s Energy Minister, Rafael Ramirez, chaired the Ministers’ meeting. The meetings were focused on the accomplishments and the difficulties encountered by the 14 member countries that attended them.

Belize reported on the activities of the Government-owned Belize Petroleum and Energy Limited (BPEL) and the joint-venture company formed with PVD Caribe Venezuela registered as Alba Petro Caribe Belize Energy Limited.

The delegation met with relevant authorities in Venezuela in order to conclude negotiations for USD 10 million in grants to be used for poverty alleviation in Belize.

The issues discussed at the meetings included the following:
cooperation in electrical energy generation;
the expansion of exploration and refinery capacity among member countries;
expansion into the production of petro-chemicals and utilization of gas resources;
renewal energy projects such as hydro, wind, solar, geo-thermal, and ethanol;
energy conservation (e.g. replacing in-candescent bulbs with energy-saving bulbs)

A communiqué and a Petro Caribe Energy Security Treaty were signed by the Heads to reiterate the Petro Caribe Agreement aimed at developing energy security with the assistance of Venezuela’s resources. Also, the original agreement was extended for 5 years. Now it covers the issues discussed at the meetings.

It should be noted that at the close of discussions the representatives of the two countries agreed to meet every 6 months.

Investment Opportunities in Belize

Friday, August 10th, 2007

On July 27, 2007, Government of Belize Press Office published comments to Investor’s Manual by P.M. Said Musa.

Having consultations with key stakeholders across the public and private sectors, Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), has worked to define viable investment and trade promotion strategies for Belize. This ended with positioning Belize as “the Natural Niche”.

The priority sectors have been indicated and confirmed by recent initiatives under the development of a National Export Strategy (supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the International Trade Center in Geneva). These are sectors where Belize is supposed to have opportunities for building competitive advantages and where it has the most viable prospects for sustainable growth, export development and trade and, accordingly, for attracting investments.

These priority sectors are as follows:
– tourism,
– agribusiness,
– aquaculture,
– information Communication Technology (ICT),
– environmental Goods and Services.

The Investor’s Manual launched on July 27 provides wide-ranging information, facts, figures as well as procedural advice necessary to guide both local and international investors when establishing and doing business in the jurisdiction as, according to BELTRAIDE, the economy of Belize is open for business.

EUR 11.8 million to be granted to Belize under 10th European Development Fund

Monday, August 6th, 2007

According to the announcement made by the Ministry of National Development, the European Commission Delegation in Jamaica has sent the official confirmation that a grant of Euro 11.8 million (BZ$ 32.5 million) will be given to Belize under Envelope “A” of the 10th European Development Fund.

This allocation is a 20% increase from the original allocation stated by the European Commission earlier. The increase in allocation by the European Commission is provided as an incentive to Belize. It was calculated taking into account not only Belize’s performance in governance, but also extent and credibility of Belize’s commitment to governance reform.

Earlier this year, Belize’s recent achievements in improved governance and plans for governance reform to the Commission were submitted to the Ministry of National Development. Belize was granted 20% of the maximum 30% incentive, which was based on this assessment.

Also, the Ministry of National Development announced that the European Commission has approved an additional sum of EUR 600 000 (BZ$ 1.6 million) under Envelope “B” of the 10th European Development Fund.