Archive for March, 2012

Belize government launches external public sector debt review

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

After the new Cabinet was appointed, the government of Belize has announced the commencement of a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and related liabilities. Dean Barrow, the prime minister and minister of finance and economic development, has appointed a debt review team. The team conducting the urgent review is led by Mark Espat, the other members of the team include minister of government Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Central Bank deputy governor Chirstine Vellos, and advisor in the Ministry of Finance Alan Slusher.

The government of Belize jurisdiction also has external advisors to support the process of preparing comprehensive fiscal and macro projections, and identifying debt management alternatives.

The inaugural meeting of the debt review team was held on Friday, March 16, 2012.

Belizean Prime Minister announced new Cabinet

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Following his re-election on March 7, Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow has named his new Cabinet. Deputy Prime Minister will be Gaspar Vega, Trade and Investment Minister will be Erwin Contreras.

Generally, Barrow named 14 Ministers, along with 6 Ministers of State and 16 Ministerial Chief Executive Officers. Among them there are:

Hon. Senator Liselle Alamilla (Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People);
Hon. Senator Joy Grant (Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities);
Hon. Wilfred Elrington (Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs);
Hon. John Saldivar (National Security, Police and Belize Defense Force);
Minister of State Elvin Penner (with special emphasis on Immigration and Border Protection);
Hon. Michael Finnegan (Minister of Housing and Urban Development);
Hon. Rene Montero (Minister of Works and Transport);
Hon. Manuel Heredia (Minister of Tourism and Culture);
Hon. Pablo Marin (Minister of Health);
Hon. Senator Godwin Hulse (Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development);
Hon. Senator Charles Gibson (Public Service and Elections and Boundaries);
Hon. Anthony Martinez (Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation);
Hon. Patrick Faber (Education, Youth and Sports);
Minister of State Herman Longsworth (with special emphasis on Youth and Sports).

Prince Harry visited Belize as part of his official tour

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The ten day trip to the Caribbean and Central American region, by which Prince Harry represented his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II , became his first successful solo tour on behalf of the Queen. Harry’s comments received wide attention in the British press, as he spoke about royal role and the challenges and responsibilities it offers to him and Prince William.

As part of the tour, Prince Harry visited Belize, where he attended a street party in Belmopan. More than 2 thousand people gathered in the capital as the Prince named a new street Queen Elizabeth the Second Boulevard. He was welcomed and greeted very enthusiastically, and even encouraged not to strictly follow the regular protocol and dance traditional Creole dances on the party. He also fascinated everybody by saying some words in Creole language.

The unusual royal walkabout of Prince Harry received approval of local Belize authorities. Actually, the royal walkabout appeared more than fifty years ago when a young Queen Elizabeth broke protocol to mingle with the crowds during her visit to New Zealand. Now her younger grandson who loves parties so much continued the tradition of breaking the protocol.

United Democratic Party wins the elections in Belize

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

On March 7, national and municipal elections were held in Belize. By preliminary results of these elections, Belize’s ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has won a narrow election victory against the opposition People’s United Party (PUP).

According to unofficial results, provided by Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai, the UDP won 16 of the 31 seats at stake in the election, with the main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) winning 14 seats. One seat is not declared yet. In the last general election, the UDP had won 25 seats.

It is possible, however, that several seats won by narrow margins could be challenged by People’s United Party.

The elections’ turnout was approximately 73.11 percent.

As a result of the victory of UDP, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow will stay for another term. The United Democratic Party came to power in 2008, after 10 years of PUP leadership. In the last parliament, Mr Barrow’s party held 25 of the 31 seats, a majority of 19.

Belize is the 13th most indebted country in the world, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow said before the election that he would renegotiate the terms of a US$550m (£348m) bond – the so called Belize superbond, which makes up half the country’s debt and 40 percent of gross domestic product. The opposition had said it would meet debt obligations by boosting the US$1.25bn economy, which is very much dependent on tourism.