Archive for May, 2008

Belizean Delegation to participate in SICA-Brazil Business Forum

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) continues to actively participate in the economic development of Belize; currently it is making efforts to foster cooperation and promote investment with regional partners and Brazilian counterparts. In order to achieve this, the BELTRAIDE is sending a delegation to the II SICA-Brazil Business Forum to be held in San Salvador on May 29, 2008.

In parallel with the Business Forum the Summit of Heads of Government of Brazil and Central America will be held.

The meeting will be attended by Elias Antonio Saca, President of El Salvador, and the Ambassador of Brazil to Belize, Roberto Pires Coutinho, as well as businessmen from Brazil and other Central American countries.

The meeting will be an opportunity to dialogue and network among various industries, particularly infrastructure, textiles, ethanol, bio-fuels, and shoes.

Belizean Prime Minister leaves for Taiwan

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

On May 16, 2008, Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean O. Barrow, left Belize forTaipei, Taiwan. In Taipei, the Prime Minister will attend the inauguration of newly-elected President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou.

Prime Minister Barrow was accompanied by the Minister of Works, the Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez. Both are planning to return to Belize on May 23.

While the Prime Minister is absent, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, is serving as Acting Prime Minister.

Belize Foreign Affairs Minister returns from Caricom Meeting

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Wilfred Elrington, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for Belize, has returned to Belize from Antigua and Barbuda.

Minister Elrington attended the 11th Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Community and Foreign Relations (COFCOR) that was held in Antigua and Barbuda on May 8-9, 2008.

At CARICOM meeting, Minister handed over Belize’s Chairmanship of the COFCOR to Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baldwin Spencer, whois an incoming Chairman.

Prime Minister Spencer addressed the meeting
and announced the 2nd CARICOM-Spain Summit to be held next month.

The meeting gave CARICOM Foreign Ministers possibility to discuss key developments in international affairs and their effect on countries in the region.

Belize to become more competitive with Commonwealth assistance

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

It was announced in the end of April that the National MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Policy is to be presented to Belize’s Minister for Economic Development, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Protection, Erwin Contreras.

Government of Belize stated that the Policy is aimed at innovation and creativity in enhancing the growth and competitiveness of Belize Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It should also be mentioned that the National MSME Policy accords with the goal of national development through employment generation, poverty reduction and balanced regional growth that was set by the government.

To enhance the competitiveness of the country’s MSMEs, the Commonwealth Secretariat has been working with BELTRAIDE since 2005. The Commonwealth assistance started under the Pan Caribbean SME-ICT Competitiveness Development Programme developed in order to make the Commonwealth Caribbean countries more competitive in the MSME and ICT sectors. This initiative ran between 2005 and 2007. Under the initiative, Belize benefited substantially through assistance with networking and establishing a database for MSMEs.

Since 2007, CFTC has been assisting BELTRAIDE with development and implementation of a National MSME Policy, and developing an Economic Benchmarking tool for MSMEs, which will be software-based. This tool will identify how MSMEs can become more productive and competitive.

Melanie Gideon, Director of SME Capacity Building & Development, said that “in a WTO driven world, the future competitiveness of the Belizean economy and its MSMEs are challenged by the erosion of trade preferences and the emergence of other low-cost competitors”, and thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat for providing the timely assistance.

The overall budget of the assistance is approximately BZ$ 450 000.