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GOB launches NIPS, a national investment strategy to create employment build investor confidence

The Government of Belize’s National Investment Policy and Strategy saw an official launch today in Belize City. Referred to by its acronym, NIPS, the multi-year plan addresses more than 80 outcomes, which includes building investor confidence and creating jobs. Dale McDougall reports.

John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “To do this, we must create investment opportunities for Belizeans who want to be a part of our national development. This is what we hope to achieve through this policy and strategy. More opportunities for Belizeans to prosper.”

Dale McDougal, Love FM News: National development and prosperity are what the Government is hoping can come from the National Investment & Policy Strategy which was launched today. Named like the plan announced in December 2019, the new plan spans to 2030 and has nine pillars, among them are Tax Reform, Making the climate more investment friendly, and Job creation. Prime Minister John Briceño also spoke about the need to rid the system of double taxation. 

John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “These include improvements to the investment climate to ensure that issues such as double taxation are addressed thereby attracting greater inflows, stronger intellectual property rights, protection and better investment protection. Not only will these changes bring challenges. Indeed, they will provide significant opportunities including spurring technological innovation to create greater efficiencies which should accelerate investment and trade.” 

Dale McDougal, Love FM News: The strategy is being supported by the Caribbean Development Fund. Its CEO, Rodinald Soomer says that Belize’s efforts in this regard is supported by a $5,000,000 assistance program dating back to 2018. 

Rodinald Soomer, CEO, Caribbean Development Fund: “Support for this investment policy and strategy preparation process is fully consistent with the CDF’s mandate to facilitate regional investment promotion and mobilisation and business development and enterprise competitiveness. This is as per the CDF agreement and it is complementary to our mission to address structural diversification and infrastructural development needs particularly for disadvantaged countries, regions, and sectors, within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. The CSME.”

Dale McDougal, Love FM News: Ishmael Quiroz of the Economic Development Council explained that one of the strategy’s overarching goals is to ensure that the companies can employ locals and that their rights as investors are not trampled on. 

Ishmael Quiroz, Executive Director Economic Development Council: “Investors require certainty. They need to be assured that their investment is legally protected and that their rights as investors are protected and that therefore having legal framework and a system that ensures that is fundamental. Pillar number 6 speaks to encouraging the development of a skill supply adapted to the needs of national and international investors. When investors consider Belize, they want to be certain that there will be people on the ground able to run with the job opportunities that they have.”

Dale McDougal, Love FM News: CEO Narda Garcia added that Government is banking on this planned success because it will ensure that the administration is accountable. 

Narda Garcia, CEO, Office of the Prime Minister: “We foresee, with the implementation of the NIPS, a healthier investor climate for not only local and foreign investors but in the long run, contribute greatly to transparency and good governance. 

Dale McDougal, Love FM News: The plan also involves a move towards E-governance and improving intellectual property protections. Dale McDougal, Love News. 

The event also featured a short panel discussion.