…2023 Belize Investment Summit
By: OMAR SILVA, Editor, National Perspective Belize
Ambergris Caye, Belize - August 31st , 2023
The allure of Belize as a hub for economic investment and growth has once again drawn global attention, as the 2023 Belize Investment Summit kicked off with promising fervor. The picturesque Grand Caribe on Ambergris Caye served as the venue for this two-day event, bringing together over five hundred eager participants from around the world. The summit, renowned for facilitating critical conversations about blue, green, and orange economies, showcases Belize's commitment to conservation and sustainable development.
Distinguished figures and industry leaders convened to exchange insights on strategies that propel both local and international businesses forward. The former President of Colombia, Iván Duque Marquez, delivered an inspiring keynote address, highlighting the potential of Belize's burgeoning orange economy. Duque emphasized the immense opportunities for talent-driven growth in sectors such as music, arts, and functional creation, with the potential to rival the lucrative call center industry.
Prime Minister John Briceño expressed optimism about the growing interest in Belize from investors spanning South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and even South Korea. Briceño asserted that the investment forum serves as a platform to unite local and foreign investors, fostering collaboration on projects that can invigorate Belize's economy. The Prime Minister highlighted the government's ongoing efforts to streamline investment procedures, positioning Belize as a favorable destination for businesses seeking expansion.
Local entrepreneurs and businesses are seizing the opportunity to forge partnerships that transcend borders. Entrepreneurs like Henry Cruz, owner of H&Y Manufacturing Limited, showcase the quality and potential of Belizean products, expressing aspirations to venture into exporting. Derrol Vernon, the visionary behind Wine Time, explored possibilities for growth, exemplifying the synergy between private entities and government officials in fostering prosperity.
The summit also places a spotlight on the burgeoning Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, which has rapidly expanded in Belize, driven by the country's English-speaking population. Nubia Ramirez, President of the BPO Association of Belize, attested to the industry's growth post-pandemic, while Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, Chief Investment Officer in the Office of the President of Guyana, advocated for collaboration between Belize and Guyana in this sector.
As the investment summit unfolds, the orange economy takes center stage, positioning Belize as a potential creative powerhouse. Prime Minister Briceño acknowledged the untapped potential of Belize's artistic and cultural sectors and stressed the importance of creating an enabling environment that nurtures local creativity. Briceño highlighted the need for improved legislation and incentive structures that attract foreign investment in Belize's movie-making industry, further solidifying its reputation as a premier filming destination.
While discussions on blue, green, and orange economies dominate the narrative, the Belizean government remains steadfast in addressing challenges associated with the grey economy – the unregulated sector often fueled by illicit activities. Prime Minister Briceño emphasized the government's commitment to combating organized crime and money laundering, underlining the need to safeguard Belize from the corrosive effects of such activities.
The 2023 Belize Investment Summit embodies the nation's aspiration for sustainable development, innovation, and economic diversification. Amid picturesque landscapes and strategic discussions, global participants are witnessing the potential of Belize to emerge as a powerhouse in the realms of both commerce and creativity. As the event unfolds, it holds the promise of ushering in a new era of collaboration and prosperity for Belize and its international partners.