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Dec 2, 2019

Belize’s National Investment Policy and Strategy Launched

After three years on the drawing board, Government is rolling out a national investment policy and strategy. The NIPS starts at the doorsteps of BELTRAIDE where investment proposals will be evaluated and then moved to relevant agencies before a final approval. Small and medium size investments will be handled differently than those that are valued at five hundred thousand dollars and above. News Five’s Hipolito Novel breaks it down.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Belize’s National Investment Policy and Strategy was today launched in Belize City. The N.I.P.S. seeks to cement a framework designed to steer investments, both domestic and foreign. The policy was envisioned a few years ago and approved by Cabinet back in 2016.

 

Tracy Taegar-Panton

Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State, Investment, Trade & Commerce

“This policy really hopes to ensure that we have a more cohesive approach, both by the ministries and agencies that are involved in investments processes and also by investors themselves.   So BELTRAIDE is the first stop in the process. BELTRAIDE evaluates the proposals does the assessment in terms of impacts that these proposals can have on the country’s economy. But then there is also discussions that have to happen with the Ministry of Natural Resources, or other entities within the government to ensure permits form the department of environment. Our vision is really to have a single window in terms of how we deal with investment facilitation.”

 

Minister responsible for Investment, Trade and Commerce, Tracy Taegar Panton says that the primary objectives of the strategy are to increase confidence in Belize’s investment climate and put greater predictability in the investment process. This according to the Minister is expected to increase Belize’s competitiveness.

 

Tracy Taegar-Panton

“So it becomes a more simpler, less cumbersome approach by the investors particularly if you come from out of country and you don’t know the players. The approach now can be cumbersome because you have to visit several different agencies and ministries before that proposal advances to final approval. We are hoping that we can become that coordinating mechanism if you will so that the ease of doing business improves and that we can get investments on the ground faster than we are able to do them right now.”

 

The strategy has five components geared to ultimately identify crosscutting polices and reforms over the course of twenty-four months.  The value of investment will determine the necessary process that would be taken.

 

Tracy Taegar-Panton

“There is a different approach for small and medium enterprises. So those investment opportunities are handled through out Small Business Development Center and they help to guide that process. Any investment over five hundred thousand then we have a more formal process and greater due diligence that is required so that we can sure that these are bona fide investors.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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