For the first time a closed season for the Caribbean lobster will be simultaneously implemented in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The Fisheries Department has announced that the closed season is from February 15 to June 14. Fishermen are reminded that they should withdraw their traps from the sea at the latest by February 15. The Fisheries Department says any lobster trap found at sea after February 15 will be destroyed.  

SJC hosts second annual business lecture

“Privatization versus Nationalization” was the topic of the second annual Saint John’s College Business Lecture held this morning at the Fordyce Chapel on the SJC compound. Panelists, Celine Cleland-Gomez, CEO at the Belize Chamber of Commerce, Lynn Young, CEO at Belize Electricity Limited and Consultant Sean Finnetty opened the discussion with their take on the difference between the two business models. Love News spoke to Gomez and Finnetty."

Celine Cleland-Gomez; CEO, Chamber of Commerce

“We got to say our peace and then they questioned us on what we said. It indicated that they listened and they want to know more. I think it is a wonderful undertaking and it is something that should be encouraged and I was glad to be a part of it.”
Sean Finnetty; Consultant

“I am involved as a consultant, entrepreneur and I have also written papers on the subject many years back. I gave a research oriented focus to some of the perspectives, both issues, and try to see if I can bring some examples from the region and some global examples of policy decisions that countries have made on privatization.”

And while all three panelists acknowledged that privatization is more efficient and nationalization is more effective they also made the point that there is a lot of complexity involved in deciding whether or not a country should choose nationalization or privatization.

Sean Finnetty; Consultant

“The truth it that there are many practical and pragmatic issues that need to be dealt with from the regulatory stand point. From the developmental standpoint of the country there are many issues that need to be looked at and I think that is the way the discussion went today. It should not be one that is ideological but also policy driven and also based on some of the practical also pragmatic political realities that sometimes have to be faced. There are also institutional realities; capacity constraints at the institutional level in order to make the right decision here. I think it is different for each sector. If you look at the ports or transportation sector; that will be different from electricity and it will be different from the telecom sector. Each sector, I think, has its own unique issues and regulatory constraints that need to be brought together to be understood; to be able to make the right policy decision. Therefore, I think it is by extension the regulatory institutions and the institutional framework overall that needs to be put in place to regulate the infrastructural sector. It needs to be looked at, as well, in parallel; if it is not done in parallel then you will most likely have a certain level of ineffectiveness in terms of managing these entities.”

Saint John’s High School and Junior College business students were in attendance. They were provided with the opportunity to take their academic learning and apply them to practical discussions.

Celine Cleland-Gomez; CEO, Chamber of Commerce

“I think that it is extremely important people at the high school level, and of course beyond the high school level, understand issues that have national import and this is one of them. While there are no clear cut answers, I do not think that the panel has said this is the way you should go or you should go the other way. I think that just to be a part of the debate for those who are in high school higher education, extremely important.”

Sean Finnetty; Consultant

“The theoretical and conceptual discussions are also important because they underpin many of the debates but I think students also need to understand some of the realities that policy makers face. I think the public as well, besides students, need to be educated and exposed to other ideas and views on these issues.”

The moderator of this morning’s debate was former Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Herrera.

Channel 7