Archive for March, 2013

National Entrepreneurship Development project launched by Beltraide

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Beltraide has officially launched National Entrepreneurship Development Program, which is aimed to promote the development of micro, small and medium enterprises in Belize, over a two-year period, during which the project is expected to create or strengthen 31 enterprises, and 62 direct employees. It is also expected to generate US$124,000 in sales by new businesses.

The program is comprised of four major components: building awareness and support to national policies for entrepreneurship and design of a regional strategy, providing grant funding for qualified MSMEs, establishing a network to link MSMEs in Central America and the Dominican Republic, increase value added product/services, and engaging in knowledge management and capacity building of MSMEs. Its value is US$874,000; most part of this sum will be used for seed capital to provide financial aid to qualified enterprises.

The National Entrepreneurship Development Program is part of regional project known as the Integral Development of Entrepreneurship on Central America and Dominican Republic. Its is the result of collaboration between the Regional Center for Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises (CENPROMYPE) and the government of Colombia and the Republic of China (Taiwan). The regional project is valued at US$1.5 million. At the launch of it, Belize officially signed on to the regional program.

CENPROMYPE is an arm of the Central American Integration System (SICA), which is responsible for contributing to the competitive development of MSMEs in Central America through the strengthening of the private and public companies that support and lend services to the sector.

Belize 2029 Bonds to be exchanged to 2038 Bonds

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Last week, the government of Belize made an announcement that holders of 86.2% of the country’s US Dollar Bonds due 2029 had tendered them, in response to 2029 Bonds and Belize’s exchange offer, to exchange these bonds for new Belize US Dollar Bonds due 2038.

The results of the tender process that ended on Friday, March 8, means that such an exchange of the entirety of the 2029 Bonds is expected to take place at a closing of the transaction, later this month.

Belize’s offer required tenders are to be submitted to Citibank, as the exchange agent for the transaction.

No Tax Changes in 2013-2014 Budget

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

The Government of Belize has made an announcement about be no new tax measures in its 2013-2014 Budget. Instead, the Government anticipates that improvements to tax administration will boost tax compliance rates.

The Government of Belize has newly implemented the ASYCUDA tax administration system. This is a computerized customs management system, developed by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNTCAD), which covers most foreign trade procedures. In particular, the system handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures. The Government hopes that the system will boost customs duty collections as well as improve authorities’ ability to tackle non-compliance with respect to the nation’s General Sales Tax (GST) and Business and Income Tax regimes.

As part of a wider review of the tax regime – with technical support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – the Government of Belize is to consider bringing the hotel accommodation services sector fully under the General Sales Tax net while at the same time repealing the Hotel Accommodation Tax. Ways to allow GST credits for the hotel sector in cases where services are in fact business inputs, while mitigating the potential for tax avoidance are being evaluated.

It is also examined how to address the structural problems of, and improve the competitiveness in, the cruise service industry, through possible reductions in customs duties on inputs for such services and possible reform of the cascading business tax regime.

Comprehensive tax reform has been deferred until the Government receives feedback on the local tax regime from the IMF.

Belize Government makes changes to tax administration

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

The Government of Belize has made improvements to tax administration, by implementation of the ASYCUDA computerized customs management system. This tax administration system is developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNTCAD) and covers most foreign trade procedures, including handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures.

It is anticipated by the Government that the new system will boost customs duty collections and improve compliance as regards the nation’s General Sales Tax (GST) and Business and Income Tax regimes.net

Also, with technical support from the International Monetary Fund, the Belize Government is to consider bringing the hotel accommodation services sector completely under the General Sales Tax net, and repealing the Hotel Accommodation Tax. Comprehensive tax reform has been deferred until the feedback on the local tax regime is received from the IMF.