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Feb 17, 2012

U.S. Chamber discuss economic growth

Patrick Kilbride

With the credit rating at an all time low, what does it mean for investment? Earlier this week, we sat one on one with representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC.  Both Patrick Kilbride and Jose Perales gave us their perspectives on what investors are looking for before they put their put their money in any country.  The chamber reps also say that stability and the rule of law have a direct influence on foreign investment.  Here is a snippet of the interviews.

Patrick Kilbride, Senior Director for the Americas, US Chamber of Commerce

“I think historically energy and agriculture are some of the areas that have bigger investment opportunities in Belize, I think our companies are beginning to look at the next generation there, bio fuels, alternative energy sources, the sky is the limit, if you have the right investment climate and you have an environment where companies can develop the consumers in Belize then you’re gonna see a broader range of investors.  I think trends are very important as we discussed, credit rating are one factor that investors are going to consider , the kind of multinational companies that are US Chamber members tend to be very sophisticated so what they’ll do is not only look at the credit rating but look at what’s behind it, what the agencies are pointing too and if it point to what they in terms of governance and fiscal responsibility and if they are pointing in the right direction then credit rating will have less of a resonance and if they see the trend going in the wrong direction then obviously they’re gonna take them more seriously.”

Marleni Cuellar

“ There’s actually an annual survey that is conducted to see what issues are concerning them most? What are the results coming out from this region?”

Jose Raul Perales

Jose Raul Perales, Executive Director for the Association of Americas Chamber of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA), US Chamber of Commerce

“We just had a duration of the survey the results are coming out in October of last year. By far the number one concern for the private sector, by the way when I say private sector I mean both big corporations and medium size businesses. By far the biggest concern has to do with the rule of law and in that sense we’re talking bout transparency the absence of corruption and predictability both the regulatory framework and also the judicial system. The one that comes after that is very interesting, because the second one is, and there’s some distance between them I would say at least ten percent in difference, but it has to do with education and the workforce, basically it is the access to technically trained individuals that can complete the jobs that are opening up in growing economies.”

The interviews will soon be available on our website and will be aired in full early next week on Open Your Eyes.

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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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3 Responses for “U.S. Chamber discuss economic growth”

  1. Storm says:

    If Belize’s future generations are going to enjoy prosperity, it will be because good foreign companies invest here.

    Belize lacks the capital to build itself up without foreign investment.

    And we should take heed of what is needed to attract those investments — rule of law, transparency, absence of corruption.


    If not, who will give us those things, if we do not hold the elected politicians accountable?

  2. Liberty & Freedom says:

    My comments from the article concerning Barrow’s response to the S&P downgrade on Belize bonds is applicable to this article. Obviously, The Prime Minister needs a lesson in economics or a course on telling the truth.
    “Belize can’t pay or it won’t pay” – what a truly intelligent message to send to the international monetary community. Where do taxes come from Mr. Prime Minister? They come from commerce.
    Does Belize have enough internal commerce to cover it’s debts? We certainly have a number of natural resources (including oil) and a labor force that can be trained. The big missing piece of the puzzle is the lack of a GOB driving force to attract foreign investment. If I were an international lending institution, e.g. World Bank, why would I lend Belize one dime if our country is going to default on it’s obligations. I loved the other side of Mr. Barrow’s answer – “we can always restructure”. Sure, pay more interest in the long term and have other countries dictate policy to Belize, e.g. UNIBAM threat. Money is a great weapon when a country is broke.
    There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword.. The other is by debt.

  3. Initiate! says:

    If these presenters where in “Belizean working clothes”, it would be a bit easier for me to listen to their message. Until then, I am afraid they are too irrelevant to Belize. They are simply presenting another side of the sword that cuts to their favor.

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