Archive for March, 2009

Workshop on Trade Support Networks and Foreign Trade Representation held in Belize

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

A 3-day Workshop on Trade Support Networks and Foreign Trade Representation was held by the Directorate for Foreign Trade in conjunction with the International Trade Center (ITC).

The workshop started on March 25 and ended on March 27, 2009 at the George Price Center in Belmopan.

The Workshop focused on Foreign Trade Representation as well as on strengthening the services provided by the internal network of promotion agencies and other Trade Support Institutions. Also, the participants were looking into ways to make both external and internal networks more effective.

CARICOM Summit in Belize discusses global financial crisis

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

At the 20th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government on March 13, CARICOM chairman, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, discussed the global economic and financial crisis and pointed out its harmful effects on the region. Global crisis was the top issue discussed over the 2 days of business meetings held in Belize City.

According to Barrow, “There is a commitment on the part of everybody to ensure that whatever negative effects may evolve for the Caribbean from this international financial situation, we are determined to put our heads together to solve those problems. We see the financial situation as a Caribbean problem – not the problem of any one country”.

Another important issue under discussion was the pace and progress of the integration movement. Also, crime and violence, and national and regional security in the Caribbean region were discussed at the summit.

Prime Minister Barrow spoke at a press briefing on March 13 evening, where he was accompanied by Prime Ministers of Trinidad & Tobago, Patrick Manning, and St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas. CARICOM Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington was also there.

Belize’s economic report for 2008

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

According to Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow, major shocks to the Belize economy were made by the challenges that were even more severe for 2009-2010 than for 2008-2009. Barrow explained that the challenges come from 3 major sources: the 2 natural disasters of 2008, a rapid slump in the world price of petroleum, and the economic and financial meltdown in industrial countries.

The 2 major weather disasters struck Belize in June and October 2008 and cost the jurisdiction a reported USD 132 million in damages.

Nevertheless, the Statistical Institute of Belize reported that the Belize economy grew by 3.8% during 2008, which is an increase from a reported 1.2% for 2007.

Prime Minister Barrow said: “While the global economic downturn will be affecting some sectors like tourism and may weaken international prices for our exports, the Statistical Institute of Belize is still projecting GDP growth to be between 2.5% and 3.0% for 2009”.

Belize’s GDP is projected to surpass USD 3 billion in 2009.

2009-2010 Budget presented in Belize

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow has presented the 2009-2010 Budget for Belize to the country’s parliament. The new budget revealed that no new tax cuts will be introduced in the jurisdiction.

When announcing the fiscal outline for 2009-2010, the Prime Minister said that the priorities of the government would continue to be health and education. He stated that the government of Belize continues to be committed to the education, health, social and physical well-being of the Belizean public, so it is allocating additional budget expenditures to the priority areas.

As regards introducing new tax measures, the Prime Minister announced that the Budget does not propose to introduce any new tax cuts apart from a rate increase in import duty leviable on gasoline and diesel oil. He added that there is a complementary increase in the excise tax on the local production of these same items aimed to maintain equity in the rate of taxes regardless of their origin.

The 2009-2010 budget debate will be held on March 19, 2009.