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Barrow counts Belize’s blessings in New Years address

Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018. 8:54 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: During his customary New Year’s address, Prime Minister Dean Barrow used the platform to highlight the things that Belize had to be thankful for while addressing the challenges the country has to face in 2018.

Barrow’s speech was heavily focused on infrastructure, pointing out the works done on the Philip Goldson highway, George Price highway in the area between Three Flags and Santa Elena,  Fabers road, as well as the various projects done by the Social Investment Fund countrywide.

Barrow also noted that he’d received a letter from the Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) confirming an offer of a US $40 million financing package for construction of the entire Caracol Road. He also boasted of upgrades to GOB’s technical infrastructure, with 75 percent of government ministries being connected under a secure network.

Speaking about the economy, Barrow noted advances in tourism with the coming Wyndham hotel in North Ambergris Caye and the coming Hilton Hotel in Belize City; recovery of the agricultural sector with shrimp and banana sales rebounding as well as foreign capital being injected into the citrus industry.

Barrow noted that exports for the first nine months of 2017 had grown by some 13 percent; however, the data from the Statistical Institute of Belize reflected a 9.7 percent increase for that time period.

Addressing the challenges, Barrow noted that he is preparing to make a motion in the House of Representatives to pay the $90 million Universal Health services settlement.

“And we can’t do that if we were simply to fold, to place our tails between our legs without account or even explanation from those who perpetrated this most monstrous of backstabs,” Barrow said. “But the spirit which will not allow this to happen is the same spirit that will see off any other challenge to our country.”

He ended on a lighter note, speaking of incoming renovations to the Commercial Centre and more construction countrywide.

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