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Jul 14, 2022

Unveiling a National Investment Policy & Strategy

This morning at the Biltmore Hotel, government officials and their counterparts from the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, the Economic Development Council, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, as well as their counterparts in the private sector attended the launch of the Belize National Investment Policy and Strategy. NIPS, as it is called, will serve as an underlying set of ideas to guide domestic and foreign investments.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Approved by the Briceño administration in May, the Belize National Investment Policy and Strategy seeks to establish a public framework to steer domestic and foreign investments.  The goal is to establish with greater certainty and predictability the general direction towards economic development and how citizens can participate in and benefit from this process through investments.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Minister of Finance

“This investment policy focuses on nine key policy pillars to improve the business climate.  These targeted pillars contain policy goals and include important steps such as the development of an integrated national strategy for promoting investments through a single investment window.  This single investment window will contribute to the coordination and greater access to the investment process.  To accomplish this, we are revising the existing framework, the taxation system and judicial system to make it more investment friendly.”

 

Strengthening the rule of law, enhancing and developing the national regulatory frameworks to foster national and international investment as well as a dynamic and well-functioning business sector.

 

Ishmael Quiroz

Ishmael Quiroz, Executive Director, Economic Development Council

“What the NIPS really does is that while we’ve said that there are reforms on the way, what needs to happen is that we need to have everything synchronized.  We have to have things complementing each other, different services complementing each other speaking to one another in order to provide the most optimal turnaround time possible.  Still within, following the required rules or laws because they have their place certainly, in terms of due diligence and in terms of environmental considerations, but there are better ways in which the relevant agencies can deliver.”

 

To do so, government needs to facilitate access to investment financing on appropriate terms and foster the development of a more efficient investor-friendly financial system for all investors, particularly domestic ones.

 

Lincoln Blake

Lincoln Blake, Director of Policy, Investment Policy & Compliance

“Within the diagnostic of NIPS, it was identified, especially through the review of the To Do Business Report of the World Bank that access to financing was one of the biggest weaknesses within the country and by looking at that, I think the strategy looked at several interventions.  There are specific pillars that deal with access to financing and within that pillar, one of the actions include the development of the collateral registry and secured transaction which will impact significantly the MSMEs and also the establishment of the credit bureau.  We also have other initiatives, for example, recently when PM and his CEO were at the European Union where they had a meeting with the European Investment Bank and one of the strategies, one of the actions is actually to have a closer linkage between DFC and the National Bank with bilateral donors and multilateral donors so that we ensure that we get finance that is necessary for continued development.”

 

Isani Cayetano For News Five

 


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