Opposition Slams Belize Investment Summit as Expensive Talk Show
The United Democratic Party is calling the Belize Investment Summit an expensive talk show. Today, the opposition held a press conference to discuss what they say was a failed attempt at attracting investments to the country. Last week, the Briceno Administration held the second summit that was geared at attracting foreign investment to the country. According to Prime Minister John Briceno, the first summit resulted in over six hundred million dollars in investments, and this year’s summit is expected to yield similar results. However, the Leader of the Opposition, Moses “Shyne” Barrow says he doesn’t believe the Prime Minister.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “John Briceno has lost all credibility after the Portico corrupt attempt to legislate that doomed agreement and he lied about it. He lied about getting legal advice. It was not until the media received the Ben Juratowich opinion that he finally conceded that he knew about this opinion before he went to cabinet so the Prime Minister has proven to be dishonest so I cannot take anything that they say at face value. I’d have to look at the numbers and to see what 600 investments have taken place but I can just go to two investments that should take place again Mike Feinstein and Michael Ashcroft again why can’t we find solutions to those projects that are from two Belizean nationals that’s number one. As far as the 500 million, I would have to look at the numbers that you’re speaking to because nothing that Briceno says can be believed and that leads me to Caye Chapel. Caye Chapel started under the UDP administration. That’s when that project first came to be. So they are not doing anything other than what they have done in the last two and a half years, almost three years, is ribbon cut for projects that we started. Caracol, Coastal Road, everything. Schools, bridge, Haul Over Bridge, Sarteneja Road, all of it is the UDP and Caye Chapel is no different that project started under us.”
Another issue raised by the opposition was the cost of the summit. UDP Chairman, Michael Peyrefitte says he will be writing the Prime Minister under the Freedom of Information Act to demand a dollar value be provided as it relates to the money footed for the event by taxpayers.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “My next request from the Prime Minister would, I’m being told that the cost to the government for the summit was $1.5 million. That was the cost to the government. And that doesn’t include the fact that those people who had their products and goods on display had to pay for a space, you know. They had to pay. So if you’re promoting a product or you have a company that you want to put on display for the summit, you have to pay for that space. But the cost to the government, I am being told, is $1.5 million. I want to know what we will get for that $1.5 million. If I were to write the prime minister and say, prime minister how much did that summit cost? He’s not going to respond. And by law, he has to respond. But this is how they operate. People always make issue of the fact that we have these press conferences and we make ourselves available to the media like you but the prime minister, the clock is still running since November 2020 he has still not called a press conference to have questions be fielded like this from the media for the public because they don’t believe that they need to answer to any of us and they can do what they want and anybody who dares answer anybody who dares want to picket or show opposition to what they’re doing, they’re vilified and they send the tactical police for you.”
The summit was the second of its kind, with a third planned for 2025.