Archive for December, 2008

Belize signs Memorandum of Understanding with Mexico

Monday, December 29th, 2008

On December 22, 2008, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Belize and Mexico signed. This was the Memorandum for the Establishment of a Border Health Commission in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

This Border Health Commission will be responsible for facilitating activities aimed at the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases at the bordering areas between Belize and Mexico. The Commission will be headed by the Director of Health Services of the Ministry of Health of Belize and the Deputy Minister of Health of Mexico.

Also, the Commission will deal with the surveillance of communicable diseases, promotion of lifestyles conducive to preserving health and preventing chronic diseases such as cervical cancer, HIV and cardiovascular diseases, referral of patients.

On behalf of Belize, the document was signed by Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health, while on behalf of Mexico it was signed by Dr. Jose Angel Córdova Villalobos, Secretario de Salud of Mexico City.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries represents the legal framework for technical cooperation in health between the northern districts of Belize and the State of Quintana Roo.

Belize Income and Business Tax Amendment Bill makes progress

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

A number of amendments to the Income and Business Tax Amendment Bill have been approved by the House of Representatives in Belize. These amendments will affect the way of taxation imposed on Belize’s banking, real estate and telecommunications sectors.

According to the government, the amended bill will increase the tax for public investment companies in the banking sector to 12% from 8%. It will also raise the rate of business tax on companies in the telecommunications sector to 24.5% from 19%.

The government said that the new legislation will retain the rate of business tax for all non-commission earning categories of the real estate industry at 15%. It is also important that it will fix the “real” business tax rate for commission earning real estate businesses, including condominium owners, long time lease timeshare operators, real estate developers, and share transfer sales at 1.75%. Initially, the government had proposed to set this tax at 2.5%.

The Income and Business Tax Amendment Bill was approved in both its 2nd and 3rd readings in the House. So, it must be ratified by the Senate before it will be able to be signed into law by the Governor General.

Belize and Guatemala will sign Agreement on Territorial Differendum

Friday, December 19th, 2008

It was recently discussed that Belize was planning to sign a compromise with Guatemala in Washington.

On December 18, 2008, at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), a historical agreement was signed. This Special Agreement to submit Guatemala’s territorial, insular, and maritime claim to the International Court of Justice was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Roger Haroldo Rodas Melgar.

In a joint statement that was signed at the same ceremony, both representatives congratulated each other on the signing of the Special Agreement, “as recommended by the OAS Secretary General, subject to the approval of the citizens of the two countries expressed in referendums”.

At the ceremony, the Secretary General congratulated Belize and Guatemala for having reached this agreement and he thanked those who helped bring about this outcome.

Malaysia presents credentials to Belize

Monday, December 15th, 2008

On December 11, 2008, High Commissioner of Malaysia, H.E. Dato Nafisah Binti Mohammed, presented her Letters of Credence to the Governor-General of Belize, His Excellency, Sir Colville Young. The event took place at Belize House in Belmopan.

In her speech, Malaysian Commissioner said that though relations between Malaysia and Belize are limited because of distance and lack of visit exchange at the bilateral level, there are many possibilities for both countries to explore where they can share experiences and investment and trade opportunities in the countries.

She also noted that both Malaysia and Belize are members of the commonwealth, and Belize already has many commonalities with Malaysia in history and common views.

Also, Ambassador Mohammed paid a visit to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his Belmopan office.