Archive for October, 2007

CDMA450 and GSM contracts in Belize won by Nortel

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

According to Belize Telemedia, it will expand its wireless coverage within the country and reach new rural communities in Belize by means of deploying kit supplied by Nortel. So, Belize Telemedia’s current GSM infrastructure provided by a Nortel competitor will be completely replaced by the Nortel kit.

Dean Boyce, chairman of the executive committee at Belize Telemedia, said that with new Nortel technologies Belize Telemedia will go on enhancing its reputation for quality, and it will be able to support a more advanced and comprehensive range of services.

Also, Boyce said, “We are substantially bolstering our network and market leadership by improving the coverage, reliability, performance and capabilities of our wireless infrastructure. Also, with the implementation of the CDMA/EVDO platform, utilizing the 450 MHz frequency, we are providing voice and high-speed internet service for the more rural and remote locations in Belize, which in turn will act as a primary generator of growth for those local economies.”

According to the estimates provided by Mobile World, Belize Telemedia ended the 1st half of 2007 with 120 000 subscribers, which means that the company’s market share is 66%.

Belize at Expofer – 2007

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Belize was invited to participate in the annual “Feria de la Frontera Sur EXPOFER”. Currently, it is participating at the event that takes place in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, from October 11 to October 28, 2007.

Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), a statutory body of the Government of Belize, in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is displaying a booth at Expofer, promoting investment in Belize and tourism to Belize.

BELTRAIDE performs a variety of Marketing activities in order to promote the country’s products both at a local and international level. This time, to build awareness of Belizean products, BELTRAIDE is also exhibiting samples of products that are either produced or manufactured in Belize.

Petro Caribe Initiative helps Belize achieve fuel self-sufficiency

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Venezuela has entered into agreement with Belize as well as other Caribbean states under the Petro Caribe Initiative. Petro Caribe has already begun operations in Southern Belize, at Big Creek.

According to the Petro Caribe agreement, Belize imports fuel – both gasoline and diesel – through a special credit agreement. Belize is to purchase fuel at 60% of invoice value payable within 90 days. As to the remaining 40%, it will be paid to Venezuela over a 23-year period at 1% interest rate. The agreement between the Government of Venezuela and Belize also provides for a 3-year moratorium before the beginning of payment. Before paying, the 40% savings from fuel acquisition could be used to improve the living conditions of the people of Belize.

Also, there is an option that Belize can pay its fuel debt to Venezuela by means of export of agricultural products.

In the end of September, Venezuelan officials arrived in Belize in order to begin to set up 2 fuel storage tanks. The capacity of each is 10 000 barrels. As a result of tendering process, the construction of fuel tanks will begin in December 2007 and be completed by June 2008. These 2 tanks are the 1st of 4 to be constructed at the Big Creek location.

At present, Belize consumes 2.6 thousand barrels of fuel a day.

Belize Government to face court proceedings

Monday, October 15th, 2007

The Government of Belize is being taken to court for breach of contract. The case concerns port issues.

The problem began with the contradictions regarding the approval of cruise terminal plan, but then the conflict deepened as this became the issue of absolute control over 3 main ports in Belize City and the South.

A claim was filed by Courtenay, Coye and Company on behalf of the Port of Belize and its majority shareholder, Belize Ports Limited, which is owned by Luke Espat.

It is required that in 2009 that Belize has a cruise terminal to accommodate the ships of major cruise lines. If the country fails to meet this requirement, cruise lines would bypass Belize. Espat proposed a solution – the Belize Cruise Terminal Limited – in March 2002, when 99.5% of Port of Belize Limited was sold by the Government to Espat’s company, Belize Ports Limited sold. In 2004, Government and Port of Belize as well as a major cruise line Carnival Corporation decided to construct a terminal in the Port Loyola Area in Belize City.

Michael Feinstein in his turn proposed the Stake Bank Project, and it is said that the Government of Belize has approved Feinstein’s project, despite the fact that Espat’s project had been originally agreed upon.

For the above-mentioned reason as well as many other disagreements, Prime Minister Musa and his administration are going to face court proceedings.