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Jul 20, 2011

Lord Michael Ashcroft’s perspective on Investment Climate

Both locally and internationally, the acquisitions of Telemedia and B.E.L. triggered alarm bells because it weakens the already slow economy. The Belize Chamber of Commerce has called on the government to pay compensation quickly and adequately. We asked Lord Michael Ashcroft for his perspective on the investment climate.

Lord Michael Ashcroft

Lord Michael Ashcroft

“I think there needs to be an understanding that foreign capital has choices. They don’t have to come to Belize; they can invest anywhere in the world and any nation that wants to attract inward investment, has to create a climate for that investment. The investor has to be happy that he is dealing with a government of integrity. They have to be happy that when governments change, successive governments don’t try to renege on the contracts of the previous administration. Belize at the moment has a very bad reputation in terms of its dealings with foreign currency investors. Whether it’s under the P.U.P. with the water company, which was an episode in which the foreign investor believed that he was totally misled and eventually the Belize government had to buy back the water company. That was something under the P.U.P., the U.D.P. were not involved in that fiasco. On the other hand, we’ve had reputable companies like Fortis who have had problems with the U.D.P., we had Duke Energy in the early days that put up the dam in the west and came out of Belize when their contract was renegotiated. We’ve had the nationalization of two principle business and the case of the Belize Bank where the government made a guarantee on bank indebtedness and we’ve had to take that case all the way up to the Privy Council in which one of the judges of the Privy Council made the comment, wasn’t the Belize government just trying to wriggle out of an obligation? And so you’ve got to have trust and there’s nothing there to show an investor that there is trust.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Lord Michael Ashcroft’s perspective on Investment Climate”

  1. Juniore Guerra says:

    I agree with Aschroft. In a business friendly environment, investors and businessmen should NOT have to be worried about the government constant interference. If both the UDP and PUP were not corrupted, investments in Belize would surge and help it get out of the third world crap hole it is in.
    When are these boneheads or so called politicians going to understand the basics of growing a developing economy? All they are doing is chasing the foreign investors as well as jobs out of Belize.

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