Photo: PM John Briceño at Soveriegn Debt Reduction award ceremony
by Kory Leslie (Freelance Writer)
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 26, 2023
Last Tuesday, the Prime Minister notified the country in a press release of his departure from Belize to participate in the Latin America Capital Markets Summit in New York. Hon. Briceno’s trip would also include a meeting with the senior team of Citi Capital Markets, which was an instrumental partner in the GoB’s recently passed Blue Bond for Ocean Conservation. The PM had provided several updates via the GoB Press Office’s Facebook page. A post shared last Wednesday details Hon. Briceno’s meeting as follows:
“On his first day in New York City, Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño met with the Senior Team of Citi Capital Markets to discuss developmental and financing opportunities for Belize. Though Belize’s macro-economic profile has improved dramatically during the last two years, there is much progress yet to be made and Citibank, a key partner in the recent Blue Bond success, is well-positioned to continue to support Belize’s public and private sector programs.”
On the following day, the PM participated in a panel discussion at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where he was given the opportunity to do the ceremonial ringing of the bell to open the Exchange and signal the start of the new trading day. Again, via his social media platforms the PM shared that it was a privilege to be invited to ring the bell and shared that his presentation at the summit focused on “the region’s capital markets, foreign direct investment inflows into our region and our economies during these current global challenges”.
Thanks to the success of the Blue Bond for Conservation initiative which afforded the country overall debt reduction of US$250 million on the basis of a commitment to support the conservation and responsible use of Belize’s marine resources, Hon. Briceño was also presented with the Sovereign Debt Restructuring of the Year Award, which he accepted on behalf of the country.
Following the summit, the Prime Minister posted the following statement:
“Our country’s image and international recognition soared when we achieved our Inaugural Blue Bond for Ocean Conservation. It sets an example for integrating fiscal management with conservation and demonstrated this small country’s responsibility to economic and debt management that puts people, resources, commitment to climate change and international obligations at the forefront. Last night, I received the Sovereign Restructuring of the Year award with great pride on behalf of our nation and people of Belize. Congratulations, Belize and I congratulate our Administration and reiterate our commitment to remain steadfast to development that is nation and people focused.”
The Prime Minister was scheduled to return to the country on Saturday following the conclusion of the summit. He was reportedly joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Eamon Courtenay; Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Hon. Christopher Coye and CEO to the Office of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Narda Garcia, and Economic Ambassador Mark Espat, who comprise a “debt management team” within the Ministry of Finance.