Archive for February, 2010

Southern Economic Development Co-operative Society Limited holds Inaugural Meeting

Monday, February 15th, 2010

On February 13, 2010, the Southern Economic Development Co-operative Society Limited (SEDCSL) held its Inaugural Meeting as a Registered Co-operative.

Mr. Alfred Ramirez, Registrar of Co-operatives, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Co-operatives, was the guest speaker at the event. The main activity of the SEDCSL is producing tilapia and vegetable for the local market and later expanding into the export market.

The concept of Co-operatives was introduced in Belize 64 years ago. This registration increases the number of registered Co-operatives in Belize to 211.

Expat Incentives to be scaled down in Belize

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The Government of Belize has announced its intention to scale down the attractiveness of its expatriate retiree incentive program.

According to regional property investment specialists Caribbean Land and Property, new retirees who want to settle in Belize from Canada, US and UK will have to apply in order to take advantage of the current program before new regulation is announced in early 2010.

Due to the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program that was introduced by the Tourist Board of Belize, the offshore jurisdiction now has 20 000 new residents. According to the QRP program, applicants are required to be over the age of 45 with a minimum monthly income of USD 2 000 in exchange for permanent residency. Currently, a new retiree in Belize is allowed to import household goods worth up to USD 15 000, a vehicle, a boat and a lightweight aircraft duty free and gain permanent residency.

Currently 1 in 15 of the population of Belize have settled in the country as a result of the QRP program. The program provides multiple benefits, for example, expat retirees are not required to pay tax on income derived from outside of Belize. Applicants are encouraged to start their own business if they desire extra income beyond the USD 2 000 which has to be deposited into a Belizean bank account each month. Also, new retirees are entitled to own rental property as well as to operate as a so-called “sleeping” or “silent” partner in a Belizean business.

National Consultation on Draft 2009 Country Poverty Assessment launched in Belize

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

On January 26, a National Consultation Workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Protection, in Belize City. The workshop aimed to brief stakeholders on the findings of the draft Country Poverty Assessment Report 2009.

The Draft Report has been prepared with financial assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The process was observed by the National Human Development Advisory Committee (NHDAC), a multi-sectoral body that provides advice to the Government of Belize and the general public on socioeconomic policy development, with special focus on sustainable human development and the elimination of poverty.

Once the report is finalized, it will be used by the Government and development organisations for enhancing social development and improving overall quality of life for all social groups.