Sunday, April 14, 2024

Business & Economy

SIB says Belize’s economy grew by 3.2% in 2023; imports continue increasing

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported on March 28th that the country’s economy grew by 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2023. The report also showed an incidence of multidimensional poverty down to 10.1% in September of that same year. However, there was an increase in consumer prices and imports during the same period.

Caye International Bank receives Best Offshore Bank Award in CARICOM for 2024

Pan Finance Magazine named Caye International Bank (CIB) the Best Offshore Bank in CARICOM 2024, and its Chairman, Ambassador Joel M. Nagel, was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The recognition occurred on March 27th in London, England, where other institutions were also awarded for their excellent services.

Belize Accesses Funds for Climate Change Project to Strengthen Sugarcane Industry

The Ministry of Economic Development, as the National Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), received approval for Belize’s largest climate change project entitled, “Building the Adaptive Capacity of Sugarcane Farmers in Northern Belize”. The grant totals BZ$77,682,600, with funding of BZ$50 million from GCF and co-financing from project partners at BZ$27.6 million and BZ$30,000 from the Government of Belize. The project was approved during the GCF 38th Board Meeting being held in Kigali, Rwanda, from March 4 to 7. Eleven project funding proposals were put to the GCF Board for approval, with Belize being the only Caribbean country to table a project.

Tourist arrivals to Belize reach record high, surpassing 2019 numbers

The Belize The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced on Tuesday, March 5th, that the number of overnight tourist arrivals to Belize for January and February of 2024 has exceeded that of 2019. The report stated that foreign visitor arrival figures were historic, and February alone hit an all-time high for any month in the country’s tourism industry.

Island women and girls benefit from Financial Literacy and Professional Development workshop

On Saturday, March 2nd, the Human Development officer in San Pedro organized a workshop for women and girls at the Hope Haven Center. The workshop provided financial literacy and professional development advice to women seeking economic independence, leadership skills, personal and professional growth, financial planning, and career advancement. The workshop ran from 9AM to 3:30PM. Diverse women and girls were in attendance, including employed women, non-employed women, entrepreneurs, and high school students who will soon graduate.

SPTC and the supplies control unit warn stores against Control Price violations

The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) advises businesses on the island about the price control regulations set by the Supplies Control Unit (SCU). The SCU operates under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise and has ticketed several stores nationwide, including San Pedro, for violations. Therefore, consumers are encouraged to report any suspected violations to the SCU by calling 607-4686.

San Pedro Liquor License Board hosts annual liquor license renewal meeting

Hundreds of business owners attended the annual Liquor Licensing Board meeting at the San Pedro Lions Den on Tuesday, January 30th , to renew their liquor licenses. For many, it was a swift routine renewal, while others were notified about specific regulations they must adhere to in order to hold a liquor license. San Pedro Liquor Board members reviewed the license applications before approval. The meeting, headed by Chairman Gerardo Reyes included the presence of the San Pedro Police Formation, Health Department, and Fire Service. Following the meetings, the liquor board said that 75% of the applications were renewed and is in the process of approving others in the coming days.

The Cayes continue to experience beverage shortages

It’s high tourism season in Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, and for weeks, businesses have been reporting a shortage of products such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The leading supplier, Bowen and Bowen Limited has indicated that they experienced an interruption due to a breakdown in their production line. The issue has reportedly been addressed, and customers in the Cayes can expect the delivery of supplies to normalize in the upcoming weeks.

Belize Tourism Industry Association holds 38th Annual General Meeting

The 38th Annual General Meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association was held on Friday, January 12th at the Best Western Plus Biltmore Plaza. Prime Minister Hon. John Briceno gave the Keynote address. Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations Hon. Anthony Mahler and BTIA President Stewart Krohn also addressed the gathering.

Temporary increase in white sugar prices announced for the Belize market

On Tuesday, January 9th, the American Sugar Refinery (ASR)/Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) reported an increase in the price of domestic white sugar. As of Wednesday, January 10th, a 50-pound bag of white sugar will cost $59.26, around $1.18 per pound or $0.43 more than the controlled price of $0.75.

Belize Bank stops the Central Bank of Belize’s attempt to regulate domestic banking fees

The Belize Bank Limited was granted an injunction to temporarily prevent the Central Bank of Belize (CCB) from implementing the Revised Practice Direction No. 7 – Regulation of Fees and Charges (PD No. 7). This regulation change was supposed to be implemented on January 2, 2024, and would regulate fees imposed by domestic banks on customers. However, with the injunction, PD No. 7 is blocked until court proceedings conclude. The Supreme Court granted the injunction and will have a judicial hearing on February 12, 2024, before Justice Nadine Nabie.