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Jun 24, 2011

Heritage Foundation says lot of work needed to build back positive investor climate in Belize

James Roberts

The Belize Chamber of Commerce spoke out against the repercussions of the government nationalization of Belize Electricity Limited. Foreign Investment Confidence in Belize is underscored by the Standard and Poor’s report of a possible downgrading on its charts. The Heritage Foundation, which publishes the yearly Economic Freedom and Growth Index in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal, has also sounded the alarm on the BEL controversy. When News Five spoke to James Roberts about the nationalization, he indicated that it would take a lot of work to build back a positive investor climate.

Jose Sanchez

“It’s a done deal; the government has sold its case to the general public. But what can our country or people in government do to move forward in improving investor confidence in the country? What actually can be done?”

James Roberts, Heritage Foundation’s Research Fellow for Economic Freedom and Growth

“Well I think that the people can insist that their elected officials follow rule books and not do stuff behind in the scenes in a hurry up basis or without proper notification  and to ignore the advice  and the council of experts when it comes to individual sectors of the economy. I know that there were electricity regulatory experts who testified in court cases in Belize about the rate setting problems. People have to demand that their politicians represent them to their best interests and not just the special interest around the politicians, but the interests of all people of Belize. That’s what needs to be done.  It’s a beautiful country and I love the people of Belize. It’s a great place to go scuba diving and I hope that they can turn around this problem with the investment climate so that you can get more investment to continue to expand your tourism possibilities. I know there are possibilities in your economy.”

Jose Sanchez

“As a think tank group, what really and truly is the weight that you carry? What’s your audience? Who listens to you? Who do you influence?”

James Roberts

“Well we try to influence every one of course and anybody who owes it to us. But we tend to reflect conservative viewpoints that are expressed by conservative politicians and our seven hundred and fifty thousand donors in the United States who send us money to keep us operating. We don’t get any government money so those are the people we reflect. We reflect their views when we speak to the government here in Washington at all levels and other governments if they want to listen to us.”

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9 Responses for “Heritage Foundation says lot of work needed to build back positive investor climate in Belize”

  1. mylegacyb4mypeople says:

    What foreign investments in Belize are we referring to? were there foreign investments in Belize that was at any significant level to have a positive effect on the economy of Belize in such ways that it benefited the people of Belize in their quality of life not including BEL and BTL which probably never should have been since we know where their profits went and were the only two companies as I can recall that had any government disruption in their affairs, what Belize really needs is local investments and national policies that will encourage and nurture such investments local investments includes the investments of any foreign person who has fell in love with Belize and make it their home and decides to invest into their own business in Belize, for Belize will not fear very well with investments coming from multinational corporations whose main aim is to benefit their stock holders and ultimately their country of origin. Remember My Legacy B4 My People.

  2. WTF says:

    Legacy… what the man is reffering to is not really the chinaman who opens a little grocery or fry chicken shop, although it does cover that to a point.
    He is trying to tell you for example, that when Belize goes to the Foreingn banks or venture capatalists for money to build bridges, roads, or any other big project…. it is going to be more expensive for you to borrow if they lend it to you at all, because nobody wants to invest or lend money to a country where the govenrment says “gee thanks for building that nice new airport…we’re taking it over now though and we’re not paying you back.”

  3. Storm says:

    UDP and PUP have taken turns at poisoning Belize for foreign investment. The politicians don’t care about it unless they profit personally, and so the foreign companies invest everywhere else in the Caribbean, but not in Belize.

    How do you like having your children held down in poverty because our corrupt governments chase honest businesses away?

  4. BZNinCALI says:

    Well put mylegacyb4mypeople.. The wealthy people who fund these think tanks are making sure Governments set policies that will ensure that they always come out on top. Rarely do we see any concern for the people who have to sacrifice to pay for the boot that is kept on their necks.

  5. Lucas says:

    WE DON’T GET ANY GOVERNMENT MONEY SO THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WE REFLECT. WE REFLECT THEIR VIEWS…( JAMES ROBERTS). Whose view? the DONERS. Who are they? The wealthy who continue to squeeze the poor. Is Fortis one of these donors? It seems most likely since Mr. Roberts is defending the man. I can understand that Mr. Roberts is working for his meal but please Sir, don’t do it at our expense.

  6. John Boy,Carson,Ca says:

    Right now the climate in Belize is unfriendly towards foreign investment.Belize is high risk..All this anti foreign investment will have a negative inpact on Belize.We need to grow our market,and the only way to do that is with foreign involment.Wealthy people create jobs for poor people.Nothing is wrong with that.The problem in Belize is not the foreign investors.The problem is that the money do not trickle down to the people.Only a certain few.That is your goverment to blame.

  7. incredible says:

    There is an easy way for it to trickle down. TAX THEM TO DEATH!!! Then the trickle will turn to a pour. And if they decide to leave- we win both ways cause thats what we want.

  8. John Boy,Carson,Ca says:

    Tax them to death will not help Belize.Buisness people are not stupid.They do not have to invest in Belize.Why would anyone invest in a country where they can not maximize their return.Rich people are rich because they are smart.That is the reason their is no jobs in Belize,and the people will live in ignorance and poverty for the rest of their life.

  9. I Have Awaken says:

    3rd: GOB needs to do a massive infrastructural program, not this pathetic one we are doing right now, we need to get the Coastal road paved, this will benefit the South tremendously, replace all these antiquated bridges throughout this country especially through the hummingbird highway, do a re-paving program of ALL major highways in this country, this patch work thing we are doing is so damn lazy and mediocre its not even noteworthy and makes the roads look like like crap and makes it almost dangerous the drive on.

    This project will last for at least half a decade to close to a decade, and I am not talking about taking 1000 light years to build the Kendal, damn that is pathetic how long they are taking, am talking about getting some much man power that we are replacing a bridge in months, not years, get people to work, people want to work.

    This will, again, lower unemployment drastically.

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