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#414885 - 08/27/11 09:13 AM IMF Issues Favourable Statement on Belize Economy
Marty Offline
Press Release – Belmopan – August 26, 2011 - A favourable statement on Belize was issued this week by the IMF which has just completed a review of our country’s economy.

According to the IMF, “Belize weathered the financial crisis relatively well, when compared with other countries in the Caribbean Community,” It attributes expanding output in 2010 to activity in electricity, and wholesale and retail trade. It also notes that inflation for the entire year (2010) was zero, and rose only slightly to 0.9 percent in February of this year (2011).

“Growth in 2011 is being supported by expansion in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, as well as an improvement in the terms of trade, allowing the stabilization of the foreign reserves cover at about 3 months imports of goods and services,” says the IMF.

Areas which require further improvement, the IMF says, include fiscal consolidation, gradual debt reduction, safeguarding financial and monetary stability, boosting growth and reducing poverty.

The statement notes that the IMF supports the Belize authorities’ plan to use the Financial Sector Assessment Programme as an opportunity to rebuild momentum for the financial sector, and that the IMF stands ready to offer technical assistance in advancing the reforms recommended.

With respect to boosting growth and reducing poverty, the IMF states, “The government is working with the private sector to identify specific measures to improve the business environment, which is crucial to support long-term investment and poverty reduction.” The fund officials also welcomed government’s focus on tackling poverty.

The IMF mission to Belize conducted its work from August 15 to 25. Upon its return to Washington, it will prepare a staff report that is scheduled to be discussed by the IMF Executive Board in late October.

#414890 - 08/27/11 09:23 AM Re: IMF Issues Favourable Statement on Belize Economy [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

IMF sees better days for Belize

A ten day visit by the International Monetary Fund ended on Thursday and a statement has been released by the Mission Chief for Belize, Gerardo Peraza. It starts with the news that in comparison to other Caribbean countries, Belize has weathered well the global economic crisis. The IMF reports an increase in the country’s output for 2010, which is attributed to electricity, wholesale and retail trade. It also notes that inflation for 2010 was at zero and has since risen slightly to point nine percent. There is also potential for growth in 2011 with the expansion of the manufacturing and agriculture sectors as well as improved terms of trade to stabilize foreign reserves. Belize, however, continues to face financial difficulties caused by nonperforming loans, high public debt and growing concerns in the business community. According to the release, the discussions were focused on three critical policy challenges; the first was achieving fiscal consolidation and gradual debt reduction.

The IMF mission says that GOB needs a stronger fiscal stance to reduce its dependence on grants and oil revenues. It also emphasizes the need to the protect public sector balance in light of recent nationalizations and to develop a plan of action to mitigate contingent fiscal liabilities. The second policy challenge is safeguarding financial and monetary stability. On the subject of growth and poverty, the report says that government is making strides by working with the private sector to identify specific measures to improve the business environment, which is critical to support long-term investment and poverty reduction, but there is still a lot to be done. The government says that the IMF report is favorable.

Channel 7

IMF to Belize: reduce dependence on grant and oil revenues

Gerardo Peraza, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief for Belize, released a statement this evening, on conclusion of his team’s 2-week visit to Belize.

The statement said, “...the government needs to adopt a stronger fiscal stance to reduce its dependence on grant and oil revenues, and rebuild macroeconomic buffers to deal with future shocks.”

The statement also said that the IMF mission “...underscored the need to protect the public sector balance from the recently nationalized entities.”

It also spoke of the need to further develop a clear plan of action to ease contingent fiscal liabilities, such as those associated with government-guaranteed debt for public utilities.

The IMF team again addressed the lingering problem of non-performing loans, which continue to put a strain on the banking sector, but which are reflective of continued challenges facing the Belizean economy.

Peraza’s statement said, “...Belize continues to face challenges due to a high the level of nonperforming loans (NPLs)—which require close and continuing monitoring by the Central Bank—high public debt, and concerns about the business environment.”

It said that discussions with officials in Belize were focused on three critical policy challenges facing Belize: achieving fiscal consolidation and gradual debt reduction; safeguarding financial and monetary stability; and strategies for boosting growth and reducing poverty.

The IMF mission in Belize began on August 15 and concluded today, August 25.

It notes that, “Upon its return to Washington, the mission will prepare a staff report that is scheduled to be discussed by the IMF Executive Board in late October.”


Edited by Marty (08/28/11 09:20 AM)

#414976 - 08/28/11 09:30 AM Re: IMF Issues Favourable Statement on Belize Economy [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
IMF REPORT and we have had so many of them. I get the feeling this one, was regurgitated out of a standard program on the computer and done by a High School graduate, understudy or something.

The IMF report was not at all impressive. In fact pretty bad, for lack of specifics and recommended specific corrections, within the envelope of possibilities available to the Government of Belize. They were not only short on suggestions on HOW to do their generalized critiques, but one got the impression they hadn´t a clue themselves. They were just justifying their salaries apparently and giving out with lackluster reporting.

Criticism on the dependence on UDP Foreign GRANTS to run large segments of the government projects. What nonsense that critique was! Ignoring the financial status, versus the needs of the country to do infra structure. They would have been better at the IMF if they had kept their mouths shut, if they cannot offer positive direction. For my money, BARROW and his bureaucrats in the GRANT BUSINESS, are VERY GOOD and should get an OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL for succeeding in running many segments of the government by Foreign GRANT writing successfully. Where the IMF come off criticizing it, leaves me dumbfounded, by such ignorance, from a supposedly top notch body.

Then there was the critique about relying too much on the oil contributions. What nonsense again. Where do they get these high school students writing these nonsense IMF reports? You use what you got, when you got it my man. That is called REALITY, and PRAGMATISM. You can toss this year´s IMF report in the wastebasket. Totally useless to advising Belize.

Ray Auxillou, WesternBelizeHappenings.com


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