Archive for July, 2013

IMF released statement upon consultation with Belize

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund concluded the Article IV consultation with Belize. In their assessment, the executive directors congratulated the authorities on the strong economic performance during the last year and the successful completion of the external debt exchange. They also noted, however, that the economy of Belize still faces substantial challenges, and encouraged the authorities of the country to pursue active debt management, accelerate financial sector reform, and strengthen economy’s resilience to external influences.

The directors spoke about the need of fiscal consolidation while protecting such priority areas as infrastructure, internal security, and social programs. Given uncertainties about the potential liabilities associated with the nationalization of public companies, they encouraged the authorities to take additional measures as necessary, with a view to ensuring fiscal sustainability.

Also, the executive board welcomed plans of Belize authorities to improve the debt management framework, and the progress on financial sector, but also spoke about the need to further strengthen the Anti Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism framework.

Directors called on the authorities to advance structural reforms, focusing on removing impediments to private investment, boosting competitiveness and jobs, and promoting inclusiveness and the diversification of exports and energy sources.

In 2012, inflation in Belize was 1.4%, the external current account deficit increased to 1.7% of GDP. However, partially due to strong foreign direct investment inflows in the sugar sector, international reserve coverage is estimated at 3.4 months of imports up from 3 months in 2011. Unemployment rate is at 16%. After two years of decline, credit to the private sector recovered in 2012.

The Belize government’s completion of the exchange of its “super-bond” for new US dollar denominated bonds due to expire in 2038 brought substantial cash-flow relief – about US$130 million over the next 5 years.

Report on Insurance Industry in Belize published by Research and Markets

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the report called “The Insurance Industry in Belize, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2017” to their offering.

The economy of Belize is small and largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, with GDP estimated at BZ$ 3.2 billion (USD 1.6 billion) in 2012. After negative growth due to the financial crisis of 2009, GDP of Belize grew along with improvement in agriculture production (such as sugar and citrus) and increase in overnight tourist arrivals, especially from the United States. The insurance industry expanded at a CAGR of 6.3% during the review period (2008-2012). The industry is regulated by the Supervisor of Insurance. The insurance industry is competitive, with 12 companies serving a population of 332,700 at the end of 2011. As with elsewhere in the Central American region, the non-life segment accounts for the largest proportion of gross written premium with 44.2% of the total in 2012.

The report provides market analysis and information on the insurance industry in Belize, including the Belizean insurance industry’s growth prospects by insurance segments and categories; the competitive landscape in the Belizean insurance industry; the current trends and drivers of the insurance industry; the challenges facing the Belizean insurance industry; and the regulatory framework of the insurance industry of the jurisdiction.

Crime statistics in Belize: downward trend to continue

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

In June 2013, the major crimes statistics in Belize has shown continuing downward trend, as compared to the June 2012. As confirmed by the comparative crime statistics for June 2013, the greatest crime reduction for the third consecutive month was registered in the Northern Zone.

Minister of National Security of Belize, Hon. John Saldivar also announced that the best overall performance in the first half of 2013 (January to June period) has been recorded in the Western Zone.

The Minister presented a cheque for $1,000 and a certificate of recognition to Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette, head of the Northern Zone and Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Formation, the $1,000 cheque being for the best performance by the Northern Zone and the certificate of recognition for the best performance by the Orange Walk Formation. The award presentations took place at the start of the Minister and Commissioner’s monthly meeting with zone and branch commanders held at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan.