Archive for April, 2008

Enhancing SMEs competitiveness in Belize

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

According to the Press Office of the Government of Belize, Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) has started the 1st phase of an Economic Performance Benchmarking (EPB) Tool initiative.

It has been discussed recently that BELTRAIDE launched Plan of Action for 2008. As part of its commitment to develop and enhance the capacity and competitiveness of SMEs in Belize, BELTRAIDE has started the 1st phase of the initiative which will focus on 4 industries/sectors: tourism-related services, light manufacturing, agro-processing, and handicraft.

The 1st phase concerns meeting and assessing the 15 participating enterprises in order to initiate the gap analysis. The phase is to last for 6 weeks, and it will be followed by the 2nd phase, which, in its turn, will involve training of facilitators and implementing software. To conclude the initiative, the 3rd stage will provide useful and relevant reports that will adopt best practices as well as minimize the performance gaps.

Business Meeting of House of Representatives awaited

Monday, April 21st, 2008

On April 25, 2008, there will be a business meeting of the House of Representatives.

At the meeting, the Government of Dean Barrow will move a constitutional amendment. By that, the Senate will be given powers to call for and to conduct independent inquiries into the operations of the Government, the House of Representatives includingly. The constitutional change will also give to voters powers to recall an elected member of the House of Representatives by means of referendum.

The Referendum Act will be changed in order to allow the public to call for a referendum on matters that are important for the public. A referendum can be called by 10% of registered voters in the country or 25% of voters in any given constituency, depending on whether it addresses a national issue or constituency issue. If a referendum is supported by 60% of voters, it will be held and decided by a simple majority.

As to other reform measures, the Prime Minister will be confined to 3 terms total, the Senate will be enlarged, and the Freedom of Information Act will prohibit secrecy on any public contract or other public document in order to ensure open government.

Two Memoranda of Understanding signed by Belize Minister of Agriculture

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

On April 10, 2008, the Government of Belize announced that 2 very important Memoranda of Understanding have been signed by Belize recently.

On March 27, 2008, Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Agriculture, signed 2 Memoranda of Understanding in Huelva, Spain.

The 1st Memorandum was signed between the Government of Spain and Organización del Sector Pesquero y Acuícola del Istmo Centroamericano (OSPESCA). OSPESCA is the organization dealing with promoting sustainable management and development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Central America. This Memorandum of Understanding is going to be the guide for future projects and development in the 7 Central American countries by means of the joint development of policies, strategies and projects, the promotion of cooperation and information exchange amongst the 7 countries, promoting and marketing fisheries products, the mobilization of additional sources of funds for joint projects between Spain and the 7 Central American countries including Belize.

The 2nd Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of Spain and the Government of Belize. It will formalize the expressed interest by Spain for providing assistance to Belize outside OSPESCA. This document will facilitate and promote the joint participation in productive and commercial development, research projects, trade, biotechnology, management of the marine environment and responsible fishing between both governmental and non-governmental bodies and stakeholders. The Memorandum is also to encourage private investment and commercial exchanges through special missions and companies in order to participate in exhibitions, fairs and other events in Belize and Spain.

Belize PM visits Miami to meet with World Bank, IDB and OPEC representatives

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, left the country over the last weekend in order to pay several important international visits to Miami. During his absence, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega was acting as Prime Minister.

On April 6, 2008, Barrow met with World Bank officials. On April 7 and April 8 he attended the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Annual Meeting as a Governor.

When staying in Miami, the Prime Minister also met with officials of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

The Prime Minister hoped that all meetings would be good to discuss possible financial assistance for Belize.

On April 9, 2008, Prime Minister Barrow and his team returned to Belize.