The baseline survey exercise which the BCSP is embarking on is expected to yield much needed data on the services sector. Based on the information gathered five priority service sectors will be selected for further development. A select number of private sector companies/service providers from each of the five priority sectors will be give technical assistance and coaching to develop the export capacity of their business within three years. The export strategy developed will include a roadmap to guide the preparation of project proposals to finance the development of these selected companies/service providers.
Recognising the increasing importance of trade-in-services for the Belize economy, and in an effort to gradually develop and broaden its relations with El Salvador, Belize in the first round of negotiations, has expressed an interest in creating favourable conditions for the opening of markets for the trade in services. Currently, Belize as a member of CARICOM is party to trade-in-services agreements with the EU (EPA) as well as the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Possible sectors for consideration are Medical Tourism, Transportation, BPO, IBC and IFS, and Professional Services sectors. Other interested sectors are encouraged to contact the BCSP to learn more.
In October 2011, the Government of Belize received a grant from the CARTFund in the amount of USD 277,906.00 to support the Strengthening and Capacity Building of the Newly-Established BCSP. Government has also committed USD 118,815.00 as counterpart contribution.
Strengthening and Capacity Building of the BCSP Project
The grant fund resources are being used to establish a secretariat for the BCSP including office accommodation, qualified staff, equipment and financial resources to fund the core activities required of all coalitions such as awareness-building, business development, lobbying/advocacy and export promotion. The project’s main activities are in line with BCSP’s immediate priorities which are:
- Establishing a secretariat for the BCSP
- Raising awareness on and changing key stakeholder perception of:
- The potential contribution of the services sector to Belize’s economy
- The need for a more enabling environment
- The availability of trading opportunities
- The role of the BCSP in promoting the development of the services sector
- Developing comprehensive sector profiles, a service sector database, and road maps and action plans for guiding the development of the priority service sub-sectors
- Advancing positions on key policy, institutional and legislative/regulatory issues