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Mar 15, 2018

I.D.B. specialist talks regional economic policy

Jordi Prat

On Wednesday evening, the Inter-American Development Bank Belize office hosted the economic principal specialist for Central America, Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Doctor Jordi Prat presented to attendees at the Radisson Hotel on the topic of “Inclusive Growth: Opportunities and Challenges for Central America and the Dominican Republic.” He highlighted the region’s social and macroeconomic conditions, opportunities and risks in the medium term. The discussion centered on the actions that Belize should take to boost growth and improve inclusive development. Doctor Prat spoke to reporters beforehand about Belize’s unique opportunities and challenges.

 

Jordi Prat, Regional Economic Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank

“Belize has two very important points, one is that it has a very young population which we call the demographic dividend.  The percentage of population of working age will be increasing until around 2045 that means that you have this stock of people that need to get educated and get the abilities for them, to find good job opportunities. The second thing that we saw about Belize is that you have a relatively high level of human capital, the average schooling age or years in Central America is around 8 and Belize is around 10. And the infant mortality rate is below central American and Latin America so that means that you have certain characteristics that make growth that should low growth to be more inclusive. What are the challenges, who do we translate all of this good stuff into growth that is inclusive and here is where one of the biggest challenges that I see in Belize is how to improve infrastructure and how to make connectivity better. So, that more companies can come and take advantage of the positive factors that I just mentioned.”

 

The IDB, a leading source of multilateral lending for Latin America and the Caribbean, has supported Belize since the country became a borrowing member in 1992. The Bank’s current portfolio in Belize includes five loans totaling seventy-two million U.S. dollars, supporting sustainable tourism, education, transport, solid waste management and climate resilience, as well as over seventeen million U.S. dollars in technical assistance and investment grants. Several new projects are currently in preparation.

 

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