The Sixth annual Belize Investment Forum was held this morning at the Florida House on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The forum was held by the Belize American Chamber of Commerce Inc. (BACC). Participating were representatives from the Economic Development Council, the Financial Services Commission, BELTRAIDE and the Financial Intelligence Unit. The Belize Investment Forum has a history of successful events which are used to share the same principle of strategic partnerships and facilitating bi-lateral trade. One of the presenters was Belize’s Ambassador to the US, Lynn Young.
Lynn Young, Ambassador of Belize to the USA: “Remittances jumps from approximately $95 million US dollars in 2019 to over $180 million in 2022. Even as the government revenues dipped by approximately $1.2 billion to a little under $1 billion so the diaspora stepped up to the plate and really helped the country whether the storm. As a percent of our GDP remittances jumped from less than 5% of GDP in 2019 to roughly 7.4% in 2020 which is well above the average in the region of 2.4% as many other countries saw the remittances decline so we are an exception to what happened especially in Latin America. When we look at foriegn direct investment of approximately $164 billion US dollars invested in Latin America and the Caribbean Belize attracted $76 million out of $164 billion. This is about what Antigua and Barbuda which is a much smaller country than Belize attracted. Barbados with a similar size population as Belize attracted $262 million of investments in 2021 compared to our seventy three or whatever it was. Jamaica $265 million and Grenada which is much smaller than Belize attracted $149 million in foreign direct investment, double what we in Belize attracted. Don’t talk about Central America. Guatemala attracted over $850 million FDI in that time, Honduras over $230 million and Costa Rica which we like to compare ourselves to in Central America they attracted over $2 billion. So these are areas I think where the diaspora can make a big difference through initiatives of organizations such as the Belize American Chamber of Commerce.”