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Jun 21, 2012

State of the Region Report looks at competitiveness for investment

Jorge Vargas

The State of the Region report on sustainable human development is a document being analyzed throughout Central America. This week the architects of the findings were in Belize to speak on a number of issues that affect the entire region. Due to proximity, Belize has more in common with Central America than the Caribbean, with which it maintains strong historical ties. News Five asked the Director of the State of the Nation Research Center in which areas Belize competes with the rest of Central America to procure foreign investment.

 

Jose Sanchez

“Do you think the cost of utilities such as: electricity, perhaps even the internet; play a role in business making the decision whether or not to come here?”

 

Dr. Jorge Vargas, Director State of the Nation Research Center, Costa Rica

“Oh yeah, indeed. Right now, countries have to offer a lot of conditions to attract good investments. Not only internet, cost of utilities, but for example skilled labor. Skilled labor means people with health, with education and that means public investments. So countries compete with everything—with their human factor and also their infrastructure. On the other hand there are certain issues that Belize cannot compete alone. For example, one of the things that business as when they are going to make an investment say well, you are in a tropical region; how well prepared is the country to deal with disasters? How is the country coping with all the problems that nature presents? In that sense, Belize is part of Central America. When hurricane hits or there are floods, I mean there are no borders on that; but that type of coping with nature requires regional strategies because sometimes Belize cannot—by its own resources—cope with those problems. But to sum it up, yes it’s about having better utilities; it’s about lowering the cost of internet and having internet; but also about investing in your own people—being more efficient and being better prepared to deal with the problems that being in Central America this eight months presents.”

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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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