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Mar 22, 2012

Senator Lizarraga talks Economy

Mark Lizarraga

The senator of the business community also spoke of the economic situation. With a high unemployment rate, investment is critical to job creation, and Lizarraga believes that honoring the foreign debt sends a good signal internationally.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Private Sector

“Well, first of all we start on the principle that the creators of wealth and the creators of employment and the creators of sustainable development in this country must be the business community. Truly, we are the only people who can have sustainable creation of wealth in this country. Earlier we spoke about the thousands of kids that come out from school every year, we have to start creating employment for these kids. Our unemployment is at twenty-three or twenty-four percent. Forty percent of our people live below the poverty line so we need to encourage and support investment from within and from abroad. In the prime minister’s speech yesterday as well, he gave some hope to the international community as well. We’re embarking on re-negotiating in a very amicable way I believe, our foreign debt and the prime minister spoke about honoring the debts that we have incurred due to nationalizations. I think that sends a good signal that we’re responsible with our debt, we’re trying to arrive at terms that we can meet; we do not want to default, we acknowledge that we have liabilities for the utilities which were nationalized, we are making an effort to try and pay them. So I think the international community as well should be hopeful of the messages that were sent yesterday. We really need to get investment going in this country; we need to create jobs for our people. That’s the only way our country will get ahead. We have to work together. The business community has a responsibility as well in reaching out as well. I think the prime minister has reached out and we acknowledge that incredible gesture—more than a gesture—we acknowledge what he has done and we look forward to working with him because at the end of the day, we’re all wanting the same thing; we’re all wanting Belize to achieve its maximum potential.”

 

It is Lizarraga’s first appointment and he will cross paths with Minister Godwin Hulse who was senator for the Belize Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Business Bureau for a number of years and has now been named leader of government business.

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