IDB announces new Country Strategy with Belize - 12/22/13 09:50 AM
Education, tourism, transport and trade and tax policy will be the strategy’s main focus The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today approved a new Country Strategy with Belize, affirming its commitment to partner with the Government of Belize on the country’s development.
The strategy will support Belize in addressing its development challenges in four priority areas: education, tourism, transport, and trade and tax policy.
“The IDB’s new strategy with Belize will help the government address the country’s needs by supporting greater efficiency in public spending and improving the conditions for sustainable, export-led growth through institutional strengthening and infrastructure investments in key sectors of the economy”, said Anneke Jessen, IDB Representative in Belize.
In the education sector, the Bank will support the design and implementation of a quality assurance system with clear standards for student learning and school management, as well as improvements in the qualifications of both in-service and future teachers, strengthening the quality of education as well as sector governance. The aim is to improve results in education relative to spending.
In tourism, the aim is to support the industry’s continued growth in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. The IDB will support efforts to increase overnight visitor demand and expenditure through diversification of tourism products and destinations,
institutional strengthening for effective sector management, and improved solid waste management in and around emerging tourism areas.
To support transport, the IDB will help the government develop a National Transport Master Plan to identify the main challenges in roads, ports, air travel and public transport and set priorities for improving the system’s quality and integration with regional transport links. The Bank moreover plans to finance the expansion or rehabilitation of roads that foster trade or improved access to tourism sites, paying close attention to climate resilience and road safety standards.
In the area of trade and tax policy, the IDB will support government efforts to strengthen the economic efficiency, equity and simplicity of the tax system through a reduction in the burden of trade taxation and increased reliance on more efficient forms of indirect taxation, as well as by lessening non-tax barriers to trade. The IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) will continue to support Belize in areas such as access to finance, support to small and medium-sized businesses, and export development.
The IDB, the main source of multilateral lending for Latin America and the Caribbean, has supported Belize since the country became a borrowing member in 1992. The Bank’s current portfolio in Belize includes six loans for US$51.4 million, supporting tourism, citizen security, water and sanitation, solid waste and flood mitigation, as well as over US$10 million in technical assistance and investment grants.