BPO Sector Boosts Belize’s Economy, Says Minister Christopher Coye
In the latest meeting of Cabinet, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment, Christopher Coye, gave a briefing on the presentation he made to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the transformation of Belize’s economy. The presentation, which was made at the IMF’s request, covered the role the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is playing in helping the economy exceed the IMF’s projections. It also covered how BPOs are connected to the recent boom in wholesale and retail services. Coye noted that the BPO sector currently employs more than eight thousand people. He also conveyed to the IMF how the rebound in tourism is advancing Belize’s economy, noting that tourists are staying longer in Belize and spending more money. Coye’s presentation included how the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the government’s investor-friendly and pro-MSME policies, have strengthened the economy. During the meeting, Cabinet also approved the Resilient Bold Belize project, an initiative to secure financing for Belize’s coastal and marine areas. The initiative, described as an “A People-Centric Conservation Agenda for Belize’s Blue Space,” will establish a framework for commitments in three major areas of coastal and marine conservation. The first commitment is to triple the full protection of the coral reef from seven percent to twenty percent and to identify the most advantageous places to increase coral reef protection. This commitment will expand the country’s blue economy and contribute to food and livelihood security. The second commitment is to designate the remainder of Belize’s 30-by-30 protection pledge in areas that will support the highest biodiversity outcomes. Under this commitment, Belize will work with partners and local stakeholders via a science-driven process to make the right decisions for the nation’s people and environment. This will also complement the 20.3 percent of Belize’s total ocean space, already legally protected under the Blue Bond Agreement. The third commitment is to secure domestic and international funding, and innovative funding from key sectors to do a coast analysis which will help make Belize’s protected area system among the best-managed systems in the world. Cabinet also took the opportunity to congratulate the 25 awardees who were honored at the Tribute to Belizean Patriots held in Belize City on Wednesday night and wished all Belizeans a Happy Independence Day.