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Taiwan Grants Belize $1.5M Towards E-Governance

Belize has received more monies from the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan; this time towards the bilateral ICT Project that Belize is collaborating with Taiwan on.  His Excellency, Ambassador, Benjamin Ho presented a cheque of one hundred and nine US dollars to the Central Information Technology Office (CITO) of the Government of Belize last Friday.  It is a 5-year project budgeted at one point eight two million US dollars with one point five million US dollars provided by the Taiwan Embassy and the balance by the Government of Belize.  The aim of this project is to pave the way to achieve e-governance in Belize to benefit the government and the general public.  In 2013, the Taiwanese and Belizean governments joined forces on a four-year ICT Technical Cooperation Project designed to assist Belize in boosting the efficiency of its existing import-export licensing and permit issuing processes. This project, the so called Belize Electronic Licenses and Permits System (BELAPS), aims to help the Belizean government to develop an online integrated licensing service that eventually will encompass its five government departments. They include Fisheries Department, Forestry Department, the Belize Bureau of Standards, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Once fully online, the BELAPS system will be able to provide individuals and businesses with a one-stop service using online media, and thereby reduce the time and fees involved in processing the relevant licenses.  The introduction of the BELAPS will also assist in linking Belize’s own Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and integrating multiple functions including inspection, customs, cash flow, data integration and data analysis. Through this project, the Belizean government can integrate existing databases and customs systems, and connect with the UNCTAD system, thereby providing more effective control of its import-export activities. The project is currently developing online payment functions with the Treasury department and a private bank, and its ultimate goal is to have the BELAPS system officially completed by the end of 2017.