Archive for August, 2013

Mexico’s Foreign Minister visits Belize

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

On August 25, the Government of Belize hosted a short one-day visit of Mexico’s Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade Kuribena. During a few hours, Mexico’s minister visited the border marker at the intersection of Belize, Mexico and Guatemala, and the new Santa Elena border crossing. Then Kuribena visited Belize City to meet Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington.

After the meeting, which is quite important for the relationship between Belize and Mexico, Foreign Ministers of both countries spoke to the press. Belizean Minister said that they are looking at improving trade ties with Mexico, while Mexican diplomat noted that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had tasked him to work closely with Belize. Kuribena said in his comments to the press: “We talked about how security will play a relevant role in what we will try to build in the future… We agreed with Minister Elrington that security has to be a centerpiece, an important part of our joint agenda and efforts… It’s a border that by working together between Belize and Mexico we can make it a secure border.”

Kuribena informed reporters about the continuing discussions concerning reciprocal visits by Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, but no specific plans have been elaborated yet.

According to the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat, Mexico is the second largest trading partner of Belize; in 2012, bilateral trade between the countries achieved US$135.9 million (98.2% increase from US$68.6 million in 2002).

Government of Belize issues US$20mln to National Bank

Friday, August 9th, 2013

This week, the House of Representatives approved the injection in the amount of US$20 million into the state-owned National Bank of Belize Limited, established in April 2013 by the Government of Belize. This sum is a start-up capital, the authorized share capital of the bank is US$100 million. The Bank will be divided into 1 million shares at US$100 per share. Government’s US$20 million is a subscription to 200,000 shares of the Bank.

The Bank will provide loans at concessionary rates to public officers and low income Belizeans. One of its goals is to increase the number of home owners, so it will focus on mortgage loans. The financial institution will also accept deposits and expand its loan portfolio to finance small businesses.

Earlier, Belizean government provided local banks with an opportunity to invest its excess capital and make a profit, but now the local banks will have to compete with the state owned bank.