REPORT #509 July 2002

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

Belize apparently has risen slightly on the UN scale of human development. Out of 175 countries, Belize has risen a few points to 58 on the scale. Still need more women in political parties and high placed government jobs. Belize has to reach 43 on the scale for work to become meaningful. Particularly we are failing in gender equality. Though press freedoms of criticism get high praise! Unfortunately, the political setup of a one party elected dictatorship, does not allow for consensus management of the economy and the treasury. This continues to allow controlling political party abuse of government revenues and foreign debt.

The PUP foreign borrowing continues to plague the ability of the government to do routine performance of regular duties. Money for next year's operations was already spent over the last three years by loans for short term political party manifesto ideas, for example.

The Bahamas has the highest income from tourism in Caricom. Belize is about midway, exactly at the 50% mark for income from tourism in Caricom. The highest countries are those with airline transportation hubs with direct flights to Canada, USA and Europe per GDP. The conclusion of which is that: we need an airline to bring direct flights into Belize. More than one if possible!

The Bahamas has the highest earnings for it's population per annum. Belize is about two thirds of the way up the scale, or one third below the top earning Caricom countries. Which is not bad!

Belize imports about 20% more than it exports.

The expansion of the Belize bureaucracy is playing havoc in some cases with development. Whereas civil servants are setting controls, regulations and private agendas over development; which can be ruinous to the Belizean economy, based on market forces and profit to provide the needed flexibility to respond to changing world circumstances.

Monopolies through different exploitation strategms adopted by the Belizean variation of the British and Roman model of political advantage, continue to hinder foreign and local investment in developing the economy of Belize.

AIDS is also playing a part in controlling population expansion. Which is now basically at zero. This may be an advantage in the long term?

While the economy of Belize is expected to slow down for the next two years in Belize; the general overall participation of various groups in civil discussion, policies and local participation has risen.

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