Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Don´t know if you are keeping up with the current articles on http://westernbelizehappenings.blogspot.com

That said, the budget speech is due soon and I hope somebody can paste it up on here when they get it in total.

From what I gather, we are earning about $550 million for 2010 and spending around $850 million. The Opposition are crying about the increased debt. That amounts to $500 million over the past three years. I´m not going to criticize the debt business. But this places our National Debt to around $3 Billion.
I certainly want to know the National Debt to GDP ratio until now.
That said, Barrow made his choices and all in all, having just come through the most two difficult years of the world economic upheaval and depression, with a forecast 2.5% growth for 2010, which is due to the OIL exports. He and his party have done well. Difficult times remain ahead, as the world is in upheaval now and obviously imported OIL product prices is going to be a bit messy over the next year. Our straightened circumstances call for continuous fiscal conservatism. Barrow seems a little weak on this, but in the past two BAD ECONOMIC world years, I can´t argue with the results. However, going forward there will be no excuses. He has to get better performance for the tax dollars spent in the civil service. That does not necessarily mean expanding same, though in some cases it probably would. It does mean, also that his thoughts and that of the senior bureaucracy of the small Belize civil service need to be THINKING - OUT OF THE BOX. The colonial status quo, mind set won´t work for transformation of the Belize economy. I like the idea of the country becoming a total FREE TRADE ZONE. Failing that; opening up the one ( Free Trade Zone ) on the Western border and establishing one around Punta Gorda would be more limited objectives.( free trade zones for manufacturing in particular ) With new highway systems connecting us to Central America, we would be not taking advantage of our situation, particularly with the markets in Mexico, Guatemala and Salvador unless we do something on the trade issues and light manufacturing. How we do that remains to be seen. There is over 50 million people as a market available, more than enough for our small country capabilities. The Chamber of Commerce TV program has rightfully had panelists ridiculing BELTRAIDE and the other government departments and their attitudes in export encouragement and trade. The bureaucrats think the status quo is alright. Which is so far out of the ball park in thinking, that you could fire all those involved with that line of thought and get some fresh blood in there.
Our oil will not last for ever. That is our fiscal cushion to enable us to convert the economy. We have probably ten years to build a light manufacturing and re-export capacity. Or the country is destined to be a continued ex-colonial FAILED STATE.

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