PM speaks out on Belize’s economy
BELIZE CITY, Thursday. October 14, 2021 – While interviewed by local reporters yesterday, the Prime Minister, the Hon. John Briceño, noted that the country is experiencing a larger economic rebound than initially expected – raising hopes for a global economic recovery in the near future. According to the Hon. Briceño, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the country’s GDP would increase by 2%, the real GDP growth the country is set to record is close to 6%, and he further revealed that there was a 22.3% growth in GDP in the second quarter of this year.
“For me, what was most exciting was that for the first time in a very long time, agriculture was leading the growth, and tourism was certainly close; next to that, the service sector – BPOs have increased. So we did the right things and we are starting to see the benefits of the decision we took when we took office, ”Prime Minister Briceño said.
He further informed reporters that the country’s economy contracted in the first quarter of this year, followed by the 22% growth rate in the following quarter, and added that although he did not expect not at such a high growth rate in the third quarter, the country continues to project economic growth and the government expects an overall growth rate of 6% this year.
The country is expected to host an investment summit in November this year, which the prime minister says will be open to potential international investors, but the country has generated strong interest from our Central American neighbors.
“Certainly, we are getting a lot of interest from Belizeans here in Belize; we’re getting a lot of interest from the United States as well, but now we’re getting interest from Guatemala, Mexico, and Central America. And it is simply because we have been active in the region, we have attended SICA meetings, both myself as Head of State and Eamon Courtenay as Minister of Foreign Affairs. And we’ve been to Mexico; we had a series of meetings in Mexico while I was there for about a week. We have met Compramex, which is probably one of the largest organizations in the private sector, and they are expressing interest in coming and looking.
He then referred to two important infrastructure projects that would link key destinations in Belize and Mexico and which could create significant income generation opportunities in the country. “When we noticed that we’re interested in how we can connect to Tren Maya, and see how we get to the border with Belize initially, and possibly see if we can get it into the country. Obviously, it has to be a private-public sector partnership, and that has generated interest in Mexico. We have a number of issues or ideas that we are looking at. We are trying to see how we can connect Ambergris Caye to the Mahahual area on the peninsula. It’s just that we opened a canal about forty feet. We think we could put a bridge there, it means the Rivera Maya would start in Cancun and end in San Pedro. And when we told that to the media in Mexico, it got them excited because you could drive straight from Cancun to San Pedro and vice versa, and that would open up that market, ”he explained.
The Prime Minister added that potential investors are very excited about the next summit.