Belize Among Fastest-Growing Economies in Caribbean, Says Minister of State

Belize Among Fastest-Growing Economies in Caribbean, Says Minister of State

Statistics from the region has dubbed Belize one of the fastest growing economies in the Caribbean.  According to Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Chris Coye, the tertiary sector which includes tourism has grown significantly, but the primary sector which includes agricultural products, has contracted due to certain factors.  Coye further told Love News that with all things considered the government is still looking at a growth rate of about six to seven percent.

Christopher Coye, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance: “The GDP increased. It just increased by a slower rate than how it had increased in the prior quarter. So we had GDP in the first quarter of this year of 11.5% and in the second quarter the GDP growth was roughly 2.9%. So that slowdown is reflective if you look closer into the numbers and we have a primary sector, a secondary sector, and a tertiary sector. You will note that the tertiary sector actually did increase substantially, which includes tourism but the primary sector is what contracted and that has to do for example with citrus. Citrus, the experience in citrus has been a difficult one. Banana suffered from Cifigatoga disease and so it’s rebounding, by next year, that should be in good position. And then some timing issues in terms of sugar, which I think will work its way over the rest of this year. So that I expect that the rest of this year actually the growth rate will be higher. But I would like to highlight at the same time where Belize is performing relative to other countries in the in the region. Belize is one of the fastest growing countries in this region and continues to be one of the fastest growing countries up to this day. Our projected growth rate by the end of this year will still be in the range of 6% to 7% once we look at the third and fourth quarters but account for the growth in the first quarter as well.”

Minister Coye furthered his analysis of the GDP Growth by listing the contributing factors including inflation.

Christopher Coye, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance: “We are second behind, I think, Guyana and maybe third behind St. Lucia, but our growth rate is in excess of all the other countries, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, every other country. Belize is one of the fastest growing countries in the region. What the reality is, is globally there’s a slowdown in growth, and that is tied in with raising of interest rates by all the developed countries, the filtering of that across all the countries and that being to try and gain a handle on inflation. So inflation is kind of causing that reaction and that reaction is causing a slowdown in the GDP, the income growth of all countries. So Belize is performing, outperforming most of its peers, most other countries around the world, and it’s just that it’s reflective of the general slowdown in economic growth across the world.”

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