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Jan 30, 2008

BELTRAIDE to expand investment services

Story PictureInvestment is the lifeblood of any economy and Belize is no exception. BELTRAIDE, the quasi-government body that deals with investment promotion and facilitation, today took the opportunity to take pride in its accomplishments and point to the future. News Five’s Marion Ali has more.

Marion Ali, Reporting
The highlight of this morning’s introduction of BELTRAIDE’s 2008-2009 Action Plan was the announcement of an expansion in its services. BELTRAIDE’s Executive Chairman Lourdes Smith, said smaller businesses will receive some much needed attention.

Lourdes Smith, Exec. Chairman, BELTRAIDE
“BELTRAIDE initially had two departments: Export Promotion and Marketing and the other one was Investment Promotion and Business Facilitation. Now we have a new structure where we have the S.M.E. Capacity Building and Entrepreneurial Development Department. We have the Information and Promotion which deals with marketing, information dissemination and they manage the databases that we have. Then the Business Facilitation and One Stop Shop, we manage the—or administer the fiscal incentives programme and also facilitate any business person that comes in that maybe is having difficulties in getting something done, then maybe we can intercede and say what is the problem. Ninety nine percent of the time it’s a miscommunication.”

As for his own pre-election communication, guest speaker Prime Minister Said Musa claimed that new investment is at an all time high.

Prime Minister Said Musa
“Recent approvals, for instance, for major projects not yet in the ground but approved already by Cabinet and indeed published are for an additional one point eight billion dollars for a combined total of three billion, ninety one million and two hundred and sixty seven thousand dollars. All these investments, already approved, are estimated to provide over fifteen thousand jobs in the tourism sector, agro industry, mari-culture, the new petroleum and energy-related industries, in the information and communication technology; I.C.T. and in services.”

Under a newly–developed Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Capacity-building department, Smith says BELTRAIDE will also now begin to focus on helping small entrepreneurs to conduct proper accounting and management of their businesses.

Marion Ali for News Five.

Entrepreneurs who want to know more about this service can visit BELTRAIDE’s office in Belmopan or downstairs of the Housing Department on North Front Street in Belize City.

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