South Florida mission explores investment opportunities in Belize
With such spectacular natural wonders in Belize, from the barrier reef to the rainforest, it can be easy to go AWOL. But it was all business this past weekend, as several South Florida business persons traveled to Placencia for the Belize Trade and Investment Mission.
The 15- member mission explored potential business opportunities with both the private sector and the government. Several members had one-one-one discussions with various officials, including Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, Glenford Ysaguirre, and Minister of Trade and Investment, Erwin Rafael Contreras. Members also met with Belizean traders and manufacturers to explores possible products that could be exported to Florida, as well as potential consumer markets in Belize for Floridian products.
Belize has recently prioritized boasting trade relations, launching many competitive investment incentives. This includes an export processing zone, offering multiple tax exemptions, including full import and export duty exemptions. The Fiscal Incentives Program also encourages investments in Belize through duty exemptions and tax holidays.
Of particular interest to South Florida business interests is the several “investment opportunities which Belize offers in a wide range of sectors, including hotel development, agribusiness and financial services, among others,” says Michael Devin Young, representative of the Belize Ministry of Trade and Investment in Florida and president of the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce (GCACC).
The mission was organized by the Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida (BACCOF) in collaboration with Broward County, Florida, the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), the United States Embassy in Belize & its American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), the Ministry of Trade and Investment, & Beltraide. Several local officials were also in attendance, including current Florida State Representative for District 95, Hazelle Rogers, as well as Broward County’s Economic Development Specialist, Paola Isaac Baraya, from the Office of Economic and Small Business Development.
“The trade mission to Belize organized by the Belize American Chamber of Commerce & Greater Caribbean Chamber allowed Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business to find tangible exports opportunities for our Broward businesses and strengthen our bilateral ties with Belize,” said Isaac Baraya.