Archive for July, 2012

Small and Medium Business training organized in Belize

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

International Trade Center Senior International Business Consultant Monica Alcoz and International Business Consultant Barbara Mooney have conducted a hands-on training, which was hosted at the Belize City House of Culture. The two-days training concerned the provision of successful assistance services to Small Medium Enterprises based on the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Model.

The module focused on providing consultations, market research, and training assistance, and was attended by more than ten different economic development agencies, bankers, trade agencies and chambers in Belize jurisdiction, including Belize Trade & Investment Development Service – the local partnership supporting investment and trade activities.

The event was organized by the International Trade Center in partnership with Belize Trade & Investment Development Service, and supported by the U.S. State Department Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Export.

Belize advances to the final MSME Policy and Strategy for Belize

Friday, July 13th, 2012

In accordance with estimations, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) generate approximately 70% of private sector employment and incomes, contributing significantly to Belize’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, there is no specific legislation providing fiscal and operational benefits to this sector.

BELTRAIDE through funding from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) completed a Draft MSME Policy and Strategy for Belize to support the development of this sector. The policy was developed as a result of the national consultations with private and public stakeholders, with a view to reflect regional and international best practices as well as to identify the needs of the sector and analyze actual business environment of Belize.

Belize budget implements tax changes

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

The budget for the fiscal year 2012/2013, presented by Belizean government, provides for a comprehensive reform of taxation on the import of petroleum products. This reform is to replace the regime that was functioning until the last year change, which had the purpose to maintain the level of taxes despite the significant decrease in oil prices. In terms of that change, the government removed General Sales Tax, instead of it applied a specific rate of import duty on the three major fuel products, and provided GST special credits to qualifying businesses and individuals who use fuel in their economic operations.

Due to this change, taxes on fuel were stabilized, but there appeared some problems in the GST refund system, and the Belizean government had received numerous requests from businesses for a return of previous combination of General Sales Tax and Import Taxes. The change introduced by this budget includes again GST on fuel, lower import duties, and removes the GST special credits.

The Belizean budget of this year includes also other proposals to restructure the tax regime in the jurisdiction. The government is planning to amend the Income and Business Tax Act, to cut the rate of tax on entities licensed to provide electricity, and to repeal the Hotel and Tourism Accommodation Tax.

Among other changes, the Belizean budget includes measures to liberalize nation’s trade regime, in accordance with Belize’s commitments agreed with World Trade Organization and under the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.