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Aug 1, 2016

Business Senator Analyzes Glen Ysaguirre’s Letter to Fin. Sec. Joe Waight

The dismal state of Belize’s economy remains an area of grave concern for the business community, particularly in light of a recent letter by outgoing governor Glen Ysaguirre to Financial Secretary Joseph Waight.  The four-page document succeeded a request by G.O.B. for Central Bank to make available an additional seventy million U.S. dollars towards the B.T.L. compensation award.  Ysaguirre warns that there is a serious threat to the strength on the Belize dollar which is pegged two to one to the U.S. dollar. Today, Senator Mark Lizarraga admits that much of what is contained in the letter are issues that have been raised by the private sector, the real surprise is that government doesn’t have what it said it has in reserves.  According to Lizarraga, government boasted almost a billion dollars in reserve.  The letter, on the other hand, says that a drawdown of seventy million U.S. dollars will certainly impact an already fragile local economy.

 

Mark Lizarraga

Senator Mark Lizarraga, Business Community

“This letter that was written by the Governor of the Central Bank to the Financial Secretary is the first time, perhaps, that we’ve seen some semblance of official declarations that we have suspected for a long time and that we’ve been concerned about for a long time.  It is a very lengthy explanation and he attempts to give reasons why the government cannot disburse that amount or why the Central Bank cannot afford to disburse that amount to the government.  He uses words like “it would be destructive for the economy of Belize.”  Those are very strong words.  He uses that there is only a limited amount of foreign exchange in the system when all along we have been told that we have in fact, one thousand million or one billion almost in reserves and for seventy million dollars to shock the system in such a manner is extremely disturbing to say the least because we’ve been told all along that we have sufficient reserves and that our reserves are healthy.  It goes on to say that we have problems because of the correspondent banking relationships and it goes on to say that we had a recent increase in net outflows.  We’ve known this, we’ve spoken about this before that our exports continue to fall and our imports continue to rise and we don’t have a way to replenish this foreign exchange and that has been very concerning for the business community because we believe that there needs to be a concerted effort with the business community and government to grow our exports.”

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