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GOB Launches the Belize Electronic License and Permit System

The Government of Belize through funding from the Republic of China (Taiwan) has launched the Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS). The system is a one-stop twenty-four hours online service to apply or pay for import or export licenses and permits. The program was officially launched yesterday but was in the making since August of 2013 with an approved total budget of approximately one point eight million US dollars. Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise, Jose Abelardo Mai says that the system will help to enhance the efficiency of GOB’s existing import/export processes.

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise: “E-governance is a part of the national policy of government. The ease of doing business in Belize as you heard in the presentation Belize ranks very low in doing business in Belize. My ministry right now deals with the importation of goods and the ordeal that people have to go through in applying for licenses, the paper work moving from one office to the next increases the cost of doing business and is very inefficient. So this today is a milestone in the history of Belize because from now on this sets the base for what we’re doing now and what we plan to do in the future for other departments and ministries. So I think that it came at a right time for people who are doing business in Belize and people who want to do business abroad they have access to this software and access to the program and they can always apply online for doing business in Belize. I think it’s a step in the right direction for Belize and it can grow. The other departments can mimic this and tweak it to suit their needs so I think it’s very important for us that we move towards this direction.”

Minister of Sports, Youth and E-Governance, Kevin Bernard says the system shows GOB’s push for a more digitalized and efficient way of conducting business.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Youth, Sports & E-Governance: “I think with the entire digitization of this program and the enhancement that was made is that it will make life easier for those who engage with this type of process. Importers, people that work at customs, at BAHA, an importer who wants to ensure that they’re bringing in something no longer has to go physically take a document to BAHA and get that document from BAHA and take it to customs –  all is now integrated in one system. This is what true digitization really is it’s an end to end solution. We want to ensure that as we move along with digitizing other government services that we mirror similar what we’re doing here at BELAPS and you’re right when people have the notion that you know what government services take too long and as part of the ease of doing business in Belize digital transformation is one of the main components and commitment by this government to ensure that we can improve the lives of our citizens and those who operate within these types of systems. Definite for me I want to say that I think it’s a bold step, we’re in the right direction and as we at the e-governance and digitization unit work hard to look at other government services that we want to improve BELAPS signals that we are very committed to making sure that we can achieve this over the next five years.”

Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) David Kuan-chou Chien says the program speaks to the bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and Belize in the field of Information and Communication Technology.

David Kuan-Chou Chien, Taiwan Ambassador to Belize: “BELAPS is a part of our government project with the Belizean government and BELAPS the assistance not only provides the Belizean people and private sector with convenience in applying for the import and export licenses online from the government but also provides the government of Belize with the efficiency in processing the issuance of the license and the permits and we do Belize BELAPS will serve as a milestone for the future bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and Belize and that it is also a huge step to achieve the goal of e governance which we collaborated with the Belizean government. As you know it has been thirty two years since we build formal diplomatic ties with Belize. Over the thirty two years Taiwan and Belize have worked together and collaborated with each other to implement a lot of cooperative projects ranging from public, infrastructure, transportation and education to e governance. We look forward to continue to work with the Government of Belize to further enhance the bilateral relations and also to improve the benefits and the wellbeing of the Belizean people. That’s our goal here and we will spare no efforts to attain this goal.”

A pilot version of the program is expected to be launch in the coming week.