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PM Briceno Says it is Important to Strike a Balance Between Environmental Protection and Economic Benefits

The Belize Investment Summit 2021 concluded today on Ambergris Caye. It was a 2-day event that sought to attract international investors to Belize and an event that also saw business owners and entrepreneurs meet up with an aim to collaborate. With the summit happening simultaneously with the Cop-26 event in Glasgow, Scotland, Prime Minister Briceno spoke on striking a balance between environmental protection and economic benefits.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize:I think the important thing is that we can see where people, business persons , are meeting face to face and that are prepared to work out agreements amongst themselves work out deals as we say in business. Where they can make investments. Now these investments are not going to materialize tomorrow or next week but certainly by next year we could start to see some of these investments starting to take place. From what we have seen from the amount of people that have expressed interest in this summit both in person and virtual we’ve had total investments of over $500 million dollars in tourism, in agriculture, in energy, in BPOs and infrastructure development, in so many other diverse fields so we believe that something will materialize and that a number of investments will materialize sometime next year. The issue of reconciliation will be in you see that the work will come in the months to come and the years to come. We were not elected to govern for one month or one week or one year we were elected to govern for five years so you will be seeing the results of activities such as the investment summit that we have taken.”

Prime Minister Briceno went further by sending a message to investors who feel that they can come to Belize and hurt its natural resources.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize:You come to Belize not to go to a shopping mall, you come to Belize because of the natural beauty that our creator has blessed us with and now I think we have a moral responsibility to future generations to protect it. I mean in my speech at COP26 that’s the very point that we’re making. We small countries are doing our part and now you have the developed countries don’t want to do their part. We have the opportunity in Belize to be able to have what you call 2020 vision. We’ve seen what they have done wrong and now we have to ensure that we will not make those mistakes which leads now to your question about the developers that come to Belize and want to put infrastructure in many instances recklessly or to the way they want if that’s the kind of infrastructure investment that you want to come to Belize and do you are not welcomed. We want to protect what makes us unique, what makes us unico and that is why we feel strongly that the laws of this country, the conservation laws and everything else must be adhered to.”