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Sep 30, 2013

Belize City Council hosts a local economic development symposium

Michael Thompson

Today at the Radisson Fort George, municipal leaders gathered for a 2013 Local Governance Symposium being held by the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project. The CARILED Program is designed to assist and work with respect of community leaders across the Caribbean in creating employment opportunities. With local economic development as its primary focus, the one-day symposium was held to introduce to elected officials that local businesses are in fact the backbone of successful economies. And according to Councilor Michael Thompson from Canada, who was the keynote speaker, the symposium will look at collaborative initiatives to support micro, small and medium scale businesses and how to make them environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.


Michael Thompson, Keynote Speaker, Local Governance Symposium

“There is a need for government to be able to collect more revenues to be able to deliver the services that are needed. And part of what we are doing here today is to look at how businesses can work with government to create synergy so that government and businesses can actually increase both the investment opportunities and the opportunities in terms of where businesses can generate more revenues and equally governments can also generate more revenues. So by working together, there is great synergy and opportunities for both to get what they want. Business to see lower taxes, seeing more investment taking place; government being able to see more revenues because if you can create more businesses, you can look at reducing taxes because you have a greater capacity to actually tax as opposed to a more narrow capacity. So when you have less businesses that you are taxing and you need more resources, you have to naturally increase the tax rates in order to collect more revenues. When you have more businesses…so if you create more business opportunities and more wealth is created, government can naturally then reduce the actual factor of the tax increase and that is part of the exercise that we are hoping to go through to create more investment, more opportunities so that in fact you can actually in fact reduce taxes and see an increase in revenues.”


Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labor, Local Government, Rural Development

“Through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, there are several things running at the same time and we are trying to marry them. There is the Brads program, there is the Rural Development Program, there is the Rural Finance Program; there is the CARILED program. And so we’ve tried to marry all these initiatives so we don’t have duplication and cross-purpose of interests and that has been a challenge for us. So the CARILED program is basically focusing on how we get the capacities within the institutions and that is where the funding is going. We in the ministry don’t have a handle on the amount of money because it is a payment from CARILED managed by CARILED.”

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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