Belize Highlights Progress and Sustainability at Caribbean Development Bank Meeting
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, Dr Osmond Martinez, represented Belize at the opening ceremony for the annual meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). In his address, delivered in Saint Lucia, focused on the region’s mission for improved sustainability in various areas, as well as Belize’s progress made in the economy.
Dr.Osmond, Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development: “I greet you all today on behalf of the Prime Minister of Belize, the Honorable John Briceno, the Government and of course the citizens of Belize. It is an honor to speak to you all today, not only on behalf of my country, but also on behalf of all of our borrowing member countries. As we know, we have much more commonalities binding us than differences. We are stewards of some of the best natural resources that Earth has to offer. We have rich histories that have bred unique cultures. On the other hand, we are also economically vulnerable with multiple significant constraints and we are highly exposed to the risk of the global arena in many instances by standard to phenomenon beyond our control. More than anything though, the greatest thing we share in common is our resilience. Even in the fears of a global pandemic, in the fears of the giant and crude appetite of climate change, in the fears of geopolitical tensions, in the fears of suffocating global inflation, we continue to persevere. Belize achieved a 65 percentage point reduction in our debt to GDP, down from 133% in 2020 to 64% as of December of 2022. This was largely due to the historic blue bond debt for marine conservation transaction. It allowed us to successfully renegotiate our external commercial debt and resulted in an immediate 12% reduction in our total government debt. In the process, Belize earmarked $4 million annually for marine conservation. Belize is among the fastest growing economy in the region, giving international partners and investors restored confidence in our economic productivity. And while I will share more about these notable feats and promises that Belize will continue to ascend on this course. The reality is that if another hurricane would strike tomorrow, or a global pandemic rampage once more, all our progress would likely disappear. This story is not one that only Belize can tell. Every single borrowing member country holds a similar fate. This scenario has become the norm for our region.”
CEO Dr Martinez, who is a Constituency Director for CDB, delivered the address on behalf of CDB’s borrowing member countries.