February 28th, 2014
The Statistical Institute of Belize held its second press conference, having released the information about the GDP and inflation rates in the country in the year 2013. It was confirmed that the food prices rose by more than four percent in 2013 as compared to 2012; transportation costs also increased. The highest inflation rate was in Belmopan and Corozal. This is influenced by the fact that Belizeans are bringing food and fuel products from the external market.
According to the S.I.B. statistics, the economic growth rate of 0.7 percent was the lowest since 2009, when it was 0.3 percent. GDP level is relative to an increase in the supply of currency or credit when compared with the availability of goods and services. Projects for the upcoming fiscal year are quite promising.
The factual information used to produce the GDP is gathered from various sources, including production figures from the major industries and information from the Belizean government agencies.
February 15th, 2014
Last week, among the bills passed in the House of Representatives, there was the bill addressing the issue by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). In November 2013, it was said that Belize and Guyana would be blacklisted for non-compliance in addressing deficiencies in their legislation on money laundering and offshore banking. It was recognized by the CFATF that, despite some steps had been taken, Belize jurisdiction has not done enough to improve the situation with the Anti-money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.
The Prime Minister of Belize sought the approval of the House to pass the new bill before the meeting of the CFATF, and in this case the Opposition supported the government. The Leader of the Opposition stated: “There is our response as we got knowledge response to the international pressure which is real” … “which will inevitably lead to, in my view, the complete undermining of the offshore sector, the offshore industry in Belize, which is exactly perhaps what is intended.”
February 9th, 2014
The Statistical Institute of Belize provided an update concerning unemployment, inflation and external trade statistics for year 2013. Opening the press conference, the Director of the Institute Glen Avilez stated that country’s exports have decreased while imports have grown high. The significant increase in imports in 2013 (by 8 per cent) could be observed in all areas especially in machinery and transport equipment.
At the same time, domestic exports in Belize have decreased by the same 8 per cent, mainly because of decline in oil production. The strongest performance in export revenue was in marine products and animal feed.
Inflation level was up by only point five per cent, averaged out between 2012 and 2013. According to Glen Avilez, Belize’s current inflation rates are consistent with those in Canada and the US, which have gone down.
February 1st, 2014
The foreign ministers of Belize and Guatemala and the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS) signed an agreement named “Road Map and Plan of Action”. The main purpose of the agreement is strengthening the bilateral relationship between Belize and Guatemala in 2014, to enable the consideration of the territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The secretary general of OAS José Miguel Insulza noted the importance of both countries deciding to coordinate joint activities, because this “means moving toward a more stable relationship.”
Belizean foreign minister Wilfred Elrington said that the document “evidences the commitment and resolution of the governments of Belize and Guatemala, with the support of the OAS, to seek to use our best efforts to develop the essential climate of trust and confidence.”
Foreign minister of Guatemala Fernando Carrera recalled the important relationship between his country and Belize and stated that the agreement “will contribute to ensuring that for next year this relationship will not only remain as peaceful as it has been for many years, but also that this positive relationship will be strengthened.”
Insulza also noted the work of the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala in the last 10 years. He said that in the last year more than one hundred acts of verification of incidents or difficulties that arose in the area were conducted, the programs were promoted, aimed at strengthening the bonds of friendship between the youth of the two neighbouring countries; meetings of mayors, immigration and customs officials were held; and various socio-economic projects in the area were carried out.