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May 29, 2020

D.F.C. Steps in to Assist Tourism Stakeholders

Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister today announced a measure to assist the ailing tourism sector. The Development Finance Corporation has been tapped by government to assist with the financial recovery of the embattled industry where earnings have plunged by a hundred and sixty-four million Belize dollars between January and April due to the coronavirus.  D.F.C. will be extending its services to tourism stakeholders through funds that will be made available from the Caribbean Development Bank.  The concern, however, has been a lowering of interest rates on loans to be borrowed from those funds.  According to the PM, rates will be lowered one way or another.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“At some juncture, tourism will have to be reopened even though it might mean, I don’t think so, but it could mean running what some people would see as heightened risks.  When we, if we face that choice we will simply have to do what we must do.  And then in terms of the assistance that’s going to be needed in the meantime for the tourism, I said I think perhaps when you joined the meeting, when I was doing the introductory remarks that we are already working with the Development Finance Corporation to identify funding for the tourism sector.  What Mrs. Goff from DFC, the general manager of DFC, told me is that there is already a CDB line that we can use.  The interest rate is going to be the difficult there. I will then get in touch with the president of CDB since this is a CDB line to try to negotiate a lowering of the rate.  I can tell you this without wanting to prejudge how that conversation will go, by hook or by crook we will make sure that the current rate will in fact, the current interest rate will in fact be reduced.  That’s with respect to the DFC line.”

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