Business Forum held by Belize Government

August 1st, 2014

In July, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow held the 3rd Business Forum in which private sector representatives took part along with Government officials. The third Business Forum attracted wholesalers, construction companies, financial institutions, representatives of energy, agricultural, tourism sectors and others.

The forum of this year had the theme “Strengthening Partnership for Growth”. It comprised four panels, which covered wide range of issues, main focus being on banking and financial sector, trade and investments, infrastructure, ICT, etc. There was an open discussion on each of the panels, where Government representatives and private sector shared their points of view.

Since the first forum was held in November 2011, the event has significantly strengthened relationship and co-operation between the Government and private sector of Belize economy.

Caribbean Development Bank provided loan to DFC

July 26th, 2014

The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in Belize received a US$10.5 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) which will help to provide financing for priority sectors in the jurisdiction.

The main objectives of the DFC are the improvement of home ownership, human development and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the significant part of Belize economy.

The loan from the Caribbean Development Bank will allow the Development Finance Corporation to provide financial support to the enterprises that very often face limited access to financing, as well as provide student loans, credits for low-income housing and for energy efficiency/renewable energy projects.

Development Finance Corporation enters into US$20 million loan agreement

June 25th, 2014

Last week, the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) requested permission from the National Assembly to enter into the loan agreement for US$20 million with the Social Security Board. The credit will be used by the DFC to lend to various sectors of economy, including micro, small and medium enterprises, and should be repaid in 14 years, including a two year grace period on the principal amount. Principal and interest will be paid quarterly at a rate of 5.5% on the outstanding principal loan balance.

The DFC is a corporation restructured in 2009 and aimed at promoting transparency and diminishing political influence, offering financing for business projects for small and medium size enterprises, as well as student loans and mortgage loans.

Statistical Institute of Belize reported slight economic decline

June 14th, 2014

In the end of May, the Statistical Institute of Belize informed about the slight contraction of country’s economy in the first quarter of this year, as compared to the economic performance in the first quarter of 2013. According to SIB, jurisdiction’s gross domestic product dipped by zero point four percent, primarily due to decreased production in three specific industries – agriculture, manufacturing and mining, and despite positive changes in some other sectors of economy – electricity, shrimp, beer, tourism and construction industries.

The greatest decline was in sugar, citrus, banana and oil production. While Belize Natural Energy Ltd., which is the country’s sole producer of crude petroleum, anticipated a gradual decrease in production, the rate at which oil is exported is falling dramatically.

The statistics for external trade in the first quarter of the year, including import and export, shows much higher results. At the end of this period, total exports of crude, citrus concentrate and bananas amounted to two hundred and five million dollars, while imported goods totalled six hundred million dollars, being brought mainly from the United States, Mexico and Curacao.