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PM Barrow to hold virtual press conference this morning to announce special loan programme for the tourism sector

Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2020. 11:08 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: On Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, will host a press virtually to announce the start of a line of credit for tourism stakeholders.

Plans to reopen the Philip Goldson International Airport to tourists, especially from the United States, continue apace and last week the Belize Tourism Industry Association met to discuss its plans, despite growing objection.

The Prime Minister had first broached the topic at the end of May during a press conference, when he said that Government was “working with the DFC [Development Finance Corporation] on funding tourism sector loans at concessionary rates as a stop gap until the sector can return to strength.”

Responding to a question on how low those rates should be, Barrow said, “Now the problem with the DFC is that no doubt CDB [Caribbean Development Bank] is lending to the DFC at just about that rate (five or six percent) and when they add on their administrative charges, that’s what takes you up to 8% or 9%. 5% or 6% is what the industry can live [with]. I am telling you that in terms of that DFC line I will get it down to 6%, hopefully 5%, but certainly no higher than 6%.”

The Prime Minister is also likely to provide updates on other financial and COVID-19 related issues.

We’ll have the highlights for you as it happens.


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