Archive for July, 2008

Taiwanese Ambassador presents the cheque to Belize Prime Minister

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

On July 9, 2008, a cheque for USD 12.5 million was presented by the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Ting Joseph Shih, to Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

When presenting the cheque to Barrow, Taiwanese Ambassador said the following: “To consolidate our common values for democracy and prosperity, as well as our mutual commitments to placing special importance on the necessity of good governance, development, transparency, and efficiency, and further deepening the cooperation relationship between our two countries, I take great pleasure on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to present to your Excellency, a cheque of USD 12.5 million as the first installment of the grant for USD 25 million to facilitate the budgetary needs of your esteemed Government.”

Prime Minister Barrow accepted the cheque and expressed his gratitude to Shih, as well as commented that it is half of the 50 million Belize dollars that provided to Belize by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for Belizean budget preparation.

Belize Prime Minister speaks at NY Conference on the Caribbean

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

In the end of June, Dean Barrow, the Prime Minister of Belize, spoke at a New York conference on the Caribbean 2008. At the conference, Barrow spoke on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The speech by Barrow was focused on the issues of trade and investment.

According to him, “the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive global economy” has forced the CARICOM countries to revisit their strategies in order to secure the sustainable development. He stressed that the countries of the Caribbean Community are now can no longer rely on one-way preferential access for exports to traditional markets as now they are also recipients of “declining volumes of official development assistance and face stiff competition as destinations for foreign direct investment”.

He stated that the transformation of the regional economy into a single economic space is aimed at facilitating the free movement of people, capital, goods and services as well as the right of establishment. He also expressed the idea that fostering greater intra-regional trade should go hand-in-hand with some kind of the critical mass needed to make CARICOM countries more attractive to third countries.

Barrow said that the United States is the most important trading partner of the region. In 2007, CARICOM’s merchandise exports to the US were recorded at approximately USD 9 billion, and an average annual growth rate was 17.6% during the period 2003-2007. To compare the US with other partners, Barrow indicated that CARICOM exports to the European Union and Canada were in 2007 approximately USD 3.2 billion and USD 1.3 billion, respectively.

As the conclusion, the Belizean Prime Minister said the following: “Economic growth, availability of jobs, a higher standard of living and increased purchasing power would translate into a higher demand for imports from the United States. It also consolidates a sphere of stability along your third border, and it promotes a secure environment for the thousands of American visitors that travel to the Caribbean every year.”

BTL to pay Business Tax

Monday, July 7th, 2008

In accordance with the order by Belize Revenue Magistrate, Ed Usher, Belize Telemedia (BTL) is to pay business tax that totals more than BZD 4.6 million or USD 2.3 million for February 2008 and March 2008.

This order was issued at a hearing held at the Magistrate’s Court, Belize City, on June 24. According to the order, BTL must pay the sum of BZD 2.36 million by July 1, 2008, and the balance of BZD 2.3 million by July 8, 2008.

It should be noted that BTL had made attempts to argue that under a favourable arrangement struck with the previous government of Prime Minister Said Musa, and its obligations to pay business tax in full were waived under particular circumstances. But during an extraordinary session beginning on June 21, Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh reviewed the case brought by Belize Telemedia and made a decision that the company must continue paying taxes until it is fully resolved.