BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 14, 2021– While being interviewed by local reporters yesterday, the Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceño, noted that the country is experiencing a larger economic bounce than had initially been projected — boosting hopes for an overall economic recovery in the near future. According to Hon. Briceño, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had forecasted that the country’s GDP would increase by 2%, the actual GDP growth that the country is poised to record is close to 6%, and he further revealed that there was 22.3% growth in GDP in the second quarter of this year.
“To me, what was most exciting was that for the first time in a very long time, agriculture led the growth, and certainly tourism was close; next to that the services sector — the BPO’s have been growing. So we’ve been doing the right things, and we are starting to see the benefits of the decision that we’ve made as soon as we got into the government,” Prime Minister Briceño remarked.
He further informed reporters that the country’s economy contracted in the first quarter of this year, which was followed by the momentous 22% growth rate in the following quarter, and he went on to say that while he does not expect a similarly high rate of growth in the third quarter, the country continues to project growth in the economy and the government is expecting an overall growth rate of 6% this year.
The country is set to hold an investment summit in November of this year, which the Prime Minister said will be open to potential international investors, but the country has been seeing meaningful interest from our Central American neighbors.
“Certainly, we are getting a lot of interest from Belizeans here in Belize; we are getting a lot of interest also from the United States, but now we are getting interest from Guatemala, Mexico and Central America. And that is simply because we have been active in the region, we’ve been going to the SICA meetings, both myself as head of state and Eamon Courtenay as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. And we’ve been in Mexico; we had a series of meetings in Mexico when I was there for about a week. We met with Compramex, which is probably one of the largest private-sector organizations, and they are expressing interest to come and look.”
He then made reference to two significant infrastructural projects that would link key destinations in Belize and Mexico and that could create considerable revenue-generation opportunities within the country. “When we made note that we are interested in how we can connect to the Tren Maya, and see how to get initially to the border of Belize, and eventually to see if we can get it into the country. Obviously, it has to be a private sector-public sector partnership, and that 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, into the Peninsula. It’s just, we have opened a canal for about forty feet. We believe we could put a bridge there, then that means that the Rivera Maya would start in Cancun and end in San Pedro. And when we said that to the media in Mexico, that excited them because you would be able to drive straight from Cancun to San Pedro and vice versa, and it will open up that market,” he explained.
The Prime Minister further said that potential investors are very excited about the upcoming summit.