Belize's Big Five
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Thursday, 02 August 2007
Belize, as an emerging economy, strategically bridging the region of Central America and the Caribbean, offers plenty of untapped potential for upscale investments and value-added activities. Our economy is open for business. There is respect for the rule of law. With an impressive program of physical and economic infrastructure carried out in recent years, supported by heavy investment in human resources in education and skills training,
Belize is ready. In a climate of political and macro-economic stability, a modern communication and telecommunication system well advanced, we can now envision a Belize of tomorrow, a fully developed country, small in size, but big in heart; a society that is prosperous, socially just that is holding its own in the world, with balanced, sustainable growth.

There are five areas of special interest to investors in Belize. Five areas that Belize shines especially bright.

Now a brief thumbnail sketch of each of those five investor goldmines:

1. Agribusiness

In the area of agribusiness we are projecting more investments in value added products. Belize's abundant resources allow businesses to process raw materials for niche export markets. We see an increase in domestic production of feedstock such as soybeans, where crops are linked to the livestock sub-sector by providing supplies for animal, marine and poultry feed.

Both the citrus and sugar industries need increased investments in sugar cane fields and citrus orchards as they both need to increase their factory throughput in order to maximize the factories' capacities. With the increased production, they would be better positioned to accommodate additional investments to diversify into other value added products.

In addition, the processing and conversion of sugar cane for the production of ethanol as an alternative and renewable source of energy has renewed investment attraction.

Opportunities also exist not only for the production of bio-diesel, but for the supply of product to process into bio-diesel.

2. Tourism

In the area of tourism with the expansion of the international airport, there is heightened interest in the construction of high- end resorts and hotels. We also need increased support services to facilitate the attraction and establishment of new "branded" resorts and hotels.

With its beautiful landscape, rich diversity of culture and ecology, Belize is naturally poised to target niche tourism for its appeal and demand in international markets.

3. Aquaculture

In the area of aquaculture, opportunities for investment exist in the cage-farming of fish, and lobster. This technique has proven track record and as such Belize's pristine waters can function as natural capital when investing in this sector. Opportunities exist in shrimp, Australian Red Claw Lobster, and fin fish such as Tilapia, Red Drum, and Cobia.

4. Information Communication Technology

In the area of ICT, opportunities for investment exist in domestic and offshore service providers. Due to the geographic shrinking effects of telecommunications and its supporting systems, companies worldwide are reducing operational costs by outsourcing many of their in-house data and information processing services to off-shore areas. The world has literally become a global village, and with business being conducted 24 hours-a-day, these technical support services are critical in the international arena.

5. Environmental Goods and Services

In the area of environmental goods and services, we have investment opportunities in timber and non-timber value added products. Investments are needed in research facilities for the creation of pharmaceutical products, herbal supplements, and other non-timber forest products.

Probably Belize's most valuable asset is its citizens. Thanks to the inherent sensitivity and industry of Belizeans, Belize is a nonpareil arena for investment

Investors are beginning to realize that Belize is truly a good country. To crib from the National Anthem- blessed by nature with wealth untold.

We believe in Belize.

Belize TImes