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Feb 24, 2017

Ashcroft Says Investors May Turn Away from Belize without Security

Michael Ashcroft

Turning to the current state of the economy…Lord Michael Ashcroft says that Belize has not shown the promise engendered by the various monies spent here over the last decade or so, particularly the Petrocaribe monies which he said were “squandered.” But the bigger concern for him is as an investor – and one that has very close ties to the country – he does not feel safe in his investments and if other investors feel the same, that could spell trouble. The key to fixing the economy, he says, is in keeping the Government of Belize honest, regardless of political views.


Lord Michael Ashcroft

“If we were able to settle all these – lots of these matters, not just the bonds but all this international arbitration stuff, then we could all get on the same side and do things to create inward investment; but the point is, many people fail to realize that investment in a small country is by choice for foreign investors; the world is their oyster. They can invest in so many other countries. And if investors can’t be assured that there is a sanctity of contract – if they can’t be assured that every time the Government changes, the next Government tries to re-negotiate or renege, then investment is going to become increasingly difficult within the country. It’s been very sad, for eight years. I have a great love for the country, but at the same time, love is something that has to be mutual; there’s no point in me staring you in the eyes and telling you that I love you, if you’re saying ‘well hold on Michael, I don’t love you’ – that’s not the basis of a relationship. So you’ve got to have one. I was Ambassador for Belize at the United Nations; I would like to think that around the world, internationally, I could really help Belize. But with the current situation it’s very difficult.”

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