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Jul 7, 2011

Chamber four point resolution to be presented to government

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry met in emergency meeting on Wednesday night. The Chamber and its president have already been flogged on the airwaves and in the House, by government for its views on the re-acquisition of Telemedia and the nationalization of Belize Electricity Limited. Notwithstanding, the membership of the influential private sector organization adopted, without dissent, a tough resolution that deals with both the rule of law and the method of acquisition of private property. While its membership recognized that nationalization is within government’s purview, they were critical on how government used its power to take control of the two companies. That they say sends a bad signal to investors and is bound to have a negative impact on the investment climate.  The Chamber’s resolution will be ratified at a subsequent meeting on July fifteenth but essentially it calls on the government to uphold and obey the rule of law. The four point resolution further says that as a matter of overriding national importance the National Assembly should act to legislate laws to foster good governance and restore a favorable climate for investment and in respect of the compulsory acquisition of private property, the Chamber calls for certain conditions to apply. According to Chamber president Kay Menzies, the resolution will subsequently be presented to Government to improve public and private sector relations going forward.

Kay Menzies, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“Last Friday we asked the members to a meeting and the members who came put together what they would like to see in a resolution to express their sentiments to the government regarding the acquisitions that have been occurring.  And so we drafted the resolution with certain legal guidance just to get the wording correct and what we did last night was present that draft resolution to the members for discussion for any amendments that might come and for any further resolutions that might come from the floor on the subject matter.  The members approved by majority vote, the members approved that resolution to go forward to a special meeting that will take place on the fifteenth of next month and from there that resolution will be presented to the government accordingly.  So that’s where we’re at right now.”

Isani Cayetano

“You have made it clear that the draft resolution is not a retroactive one.  It’s [about] moving ahead and looking towards bettering the relationship with the government in terms of any future acquisitions.  Can you speak to us [on] what happens as of the fifteenth when this resolution is actually passed?”

Kay Menzies

Kay Menzies

“We’ll be guided by the members.  The resolution is done according to their guidance first of all, and that resolution will be presented on their instruction and any other thing that the membership would like to see.  We are guided by our members so I can’t really speak as to what will happen after the fifteenth.  It’s mainly to get the resolution ratified and pass it on to the government from there.  What you spoke to on the retroactive portion is absolutely correct.  It is our desire to move forward from here and to speak to any notion of future acquisitions that they be dealt with in a certain manner that will give comfort to those who invest here, be they local or foreign.  Anybody investing, purchasing land, building a business or whatever they need certain comforts and the resolution is designed to pass certain guidance as to what those comforts would be.”

Isani Cayetano

“What has been the sentiment of certain members of the chamber with regards to what has transpired over the past several weeks involving the nationalization of B.E.L. and of course the reacquisition of Telemedia?  How have they felt about this thing?”

Kay Menzies

“I think in general terms the sentiment we’ve gotten from members is that there is no objection to the concept of nationalization.  Several of them have said that it would be nice for us to own our own utilities; however, the universal concern has been the method.  The method of acquisition is what gives them concern and once that’s dealt with they’re saying well you know if we want to buy our utilities then fine but let’s do it a certain way so that it doesn’t cause ripples.”

In respect of compensation, the resolution says it must be paid within one year from the date of acquisition which must be proportionate, and those deprived of their property by the government must have a reasonable and fair opportunity to be heard prior to the acquisition.

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3 Responses for “Chamber four point resolution to be presented to government”

  1. Roy Yates says:

    You folks back there are a bunch of whimps; all you do is talk, and more talk. You all don’t seem to understand what Barrow has done and is doing to the country. He silent the Attorney genaral, he silent the head of the Police force, he silent the head of BDF, and say to the highest court in the land, go get stuff. Totally destroying democracy by over stepping his bounds of the Court the back bone of seperation of powers, and you all talking about democracy. You see where this dictator is taking the country by wanting to lock up citizens on suspecion and not to be heard from for 50 something days; the police don’t have to tell you ZLICH about a missing love one during that period of time, what if the person is missing for other reason?

    Just like Borrow want people businesses for nothing, is the same way you all citizens want democracy free without fighting for it. I wonder what the CARICOM heads of states are saying about Belize? How can they have this rough state amongst their rank? You all are a bunch of clowns. The man has shown his full colors. What the hell is wrong with you people? Seem like only the thugs who cover their faces and shoot others has any back bone. You all are so darn selfish you want someone elce to put their necks on the chopping block while you all stand by and reap the benefits. You all have TV to see what is going on around the world, even today in Egypt. Surely Barrow sees that he is dealing with a bunch of whimps and he will continue to back you all @$$ into the corner till you have no place to go. You all might as well just let Guatemala walk in and take over now, because the country’s law enforcement is totally shot. This is why I never allow myself to get on the race, crap band wagon. Here you havea so-call first black Priminister for the country who is a total disgrace

  2. Javier says:

    You can go ahead and put your neck on the chopping block if you want “Roy Yates.” You are on your own. I will stand up for the good of Belize but not just for one or a few greedy individuals who have nothing good for me.

  3. Roy Yates says:

    Javier, i don’t think I know what you mean. I made myself quite clear about the issue back there .

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