Friday, October 10, 2008

Extract from the Belize Culture List Serve
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I’m looking forward to the first UDP budget speech in January or February. If they stay conservative, things will be okay. I doubt there will be much change in the economic numbers though. The only difference is going to be that 2009 will see more government revenue and thus the ability for a better budget spending and saving plan for 2009. Belize is actually in perfect shape considering; to become a solid conservative managed economy and country, the envy of a all the Caribbean . I doubt the National Debt will change from roughly $2.25 billion. I do expect the debt to GDP ratio to have become a bit worse because of the needless foreign borrowing this year. That seems to have stopped, so it probably will not be too bad. A hinderance to good governance, but understandable because of the needs of politics and party braggadocio for their UDP first year in office. GDP growth I expect to be about the same, around 1.6%. It might shrink a little, or grow a little, but more or less the same this year. I don’t really look for much change in this number until 2010 if the UDP can keep a lid on government spending. Nor do I expect the outside world to impinge too much on consolidation of the economic situation in Belize , whatever is happening out there in the outside world. The biggest factors effecting Belize are the European Union, EPA sales pitch and threats. Also the effect on tourism, which I expect to be minimal. There is a problem with the growth of Airport Departure taxes world wide. This can be detrimental to tourism. For economic growth we do need a concentration on making products for export. How would you foster the chocolate industry and locate markets? Is there a chocolate market in China ? It would seem so? How do you teach college graduates to be entrepreneurs?

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