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Jun 18, 2014

Italian investors to convince officials that Puerto Azul is a good

Last Thursday, a group of conservation N.G.O.s expressed their concern via letter about a proposed mega-tourism project, the Puerto Azul development, within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. That letter was sent to Chair of the Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment, Godwin Hulse. In it, the group is asking for disclosure, additional information on the methodology which government will use to vet the project. Government has given a very preliminary green light to investors in Puerto Azul, which Investment Subcommittee Chair Hulse told us simply means that the project concept wasn’t rejected out of hand. In the second phase, investors will now have to convince myriad officials that Puerto Azul is a good thing socially, legally, economically and environmentally.


Godwin Hulse, Chairman, Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment

Godwin Hulse

“In the case of Puerto Azul that has happened, where government says you can begin to take your look. But there are five criteria that are laid out clearly. One is that it has to be socially and economically acceptable and legally doable. The Committee investigates that to see if that is so. Then it has to bring revenue to government. We can’t continue to have you, the taxpayer, pay for the lights and the streets that other people use for free, so some revenue must come to government from every project. It has to bring foreign exchange because we can’t spend the Belize dollar abroad, so we have to continue to build up our reserves and have foreign exchange to spend. It has to create meaningful jobs, you know I’m dead serious on that…no ifs, buts or maybes. You won’t get any work permits to bring in any people that we have in Belize. And last but not least, because they’re all equal…you must preserve the environment and our cultural heritage and enhance it if necessary. Those five criteria are analyzed by a technical committee staffed with people from Beltraide, the Department of the Environment, people from the Tourism Department, and people from the Department of Investment all sit on that, including high technical people who sit and analyze the finance coming to government. And then, when that is all okay, we go back to Cabinet and we say all five has been met. If one of the five doesn’t measure up then we say no dice. We don’t even go back to Cabinet but to say that we’re still studying. Puerto Azul is not at that stage yet. They have not yet submitted any full report. What they did ask for is if they are able to go ahead with their own environmental study, because the initial green light said – don’t mess around with the reef. So if you’re going to do a study to show that you’re not going to mess around with the reef and there’s not going to be anything adverse, then we will proceed on the others. But like the Prime Minister said if any one fails we are at a no go.”


High level Puerto Azul project representatives are currently in Belize. Hulse told News Five that they have not sought an audience with him individually or with the investment subcommittee. 

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4 Responses for “Italian investors to convince officials that Puerto Azul is a good”

  1. Bzn says:

    No dice? Really? This Government has never rejected any of these projects. All these investors know that they’re bound to get a yes from Cabinet. This project should have been shut down long ago. It shouldn’t even be entertained.

  2. oscar965 says:

    Our national resources…our beauty…the essence of what mother nature gave to us is being sold away…..and we elected this people to lead us….a sad day indeed… everything is for sale in Belize…hmmm….

  3. Belizean says:

    Yes Oscar, let us just send all investors HOME HOME HOME!!!! Away from Belize, lets just scrap the tourism industry, just let it all go!!! Leave us to alone with our green trees!!! Is that what I hear you saying????

  4. Hmm says:


    Clearly your not that inane? You have idea if a little oopsie happens near our reef? It will devastate not only our beauty but the core of our tourism, and guess where your precious investors will be? They’ll pack up and be gone. But I guess politics and money is blinding. Truly only in belize, instead learning what these type of projects does to ther countries we are just repeating the same mistakes.

    If you want investors to come in then try get more industries here, that will generate a whole lot more long term jobs.

    FYI, UDP already set the bad precedence for investors by how they strong arm the electric and phone companies.

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