The sixth edition of BELTRADE’s Investment magazine was launched this morning with the theme, “Our Green Economy, Your Trade Opportunity.”  As the name suggests, the magazine is geared towards sustainable development initiatives. Inside you will find writings from experts on matters relating to responsible business and investment to keep the environment safe.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, better known as BELTRAIDE, official launched the sixth edition of its magazine. INVEST Belize is used to attract local and foreign investment to the country and this year, the publication is focused on green economy, promotion sustainable investments in the Jewel to build further economic growth.

Tracy Panton, Minister of State, Trade & Investment

“It’s the tool that we use to promote investment in our key economic sectors; that’s tourism, agriculture, agro-processing, solar energy, green energy and other agricultural products that continue to be one of the mainstays of Belize’s economy. We use it a lot in our business hotels and also we use it as a tool when we travel to speak to potential investors to look at these priority sectors for investment.”

Prominently featured in the magazine this year was American Sugar Refinery/B.S.I., among other businesses and resorts. A.S.R. for some time now has been moving away from the slash and burn system and looking at a more sustainable way of growing and harvesting sugar.

William Neal, Communications Director, A.S.R./B.S.I.

“I think it is important to be featured simply because south of Orange Walk, people know very little of what’s happening in the sugar industry. The industry has been there for more than fifty years, but in order to maintain a competitive edge, we have to turn a corner and make sure that we move with technology and so mechanical harvesting is one of the things that we are piloting in terms of behaviour change projects. The idea is to have farmers teach other farmers the benefits of it. And so this magazine also allows us, outside of the industry, to have the kind of conversation in terms of what needs to be done to make farming and agriculture attractive to young people in particular. You know, it has always been seen as back-breaking work and with technology, you can use drones, you can use so many new technologies to actually improve your yields and that’s where we are going.”

The magazine, which is printed on sustainable paper, is available at BELTRAIDE and hotels locally and international expos were Belize has a booth. This year around, the magazine was primarily done in house and Doctor Leroy Almendarez says that the entire team was involved in the design and layout.

Dr. Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director, BELTRAIDE

“Going green simply means that we want to reduce our carbon footprint. And so therefore in terms of wasting and the negative effects on the environment, that is something that we really want to contribute to the elimination of. Sometimes you see in the seas and the oceans, you see all the waste floating around, we don’t want that. And so we wanted to make this copy sustainably. It was printed on sustainable paper because you can’t just speak it. You can’t just walk the walk; you have to walk the talk. And that’s what BELTRAIDE does and so in terms of our contribution, it’s sustainable. It did not lose its glitz or glamour, but we made sure that it was in line with that whole green economy.”

Channel 5