Posted: Friday, October 22, 2021. 2:28 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Minister of State in Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Christopher Coye represented Belize this week at the Meeting of Governors of the Caribbean Region with the World Bank where he shared Belize’s economic successes and struggles in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coye, accompanied by Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development Dr. Osmond Martinez, attended the meeting on October 20, as part of the 2021 International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank Group Annual Meeting which was held under the theme “From Response to Recovery: Charting a Dynamic Transformation for the Caribbean.”
During his remarks, Coye explained that Belize’s tourism sector, which accounts for over 40% percent of Belize’s GDP, suffered under the COVID-19 pandemic as global travel shut down resulting in a 71 percent drop in international arrivals. The resulting economic loss caused the economy to contract by a “staggering” 14 percent.
Coye went on to say that, in 2021, the government is making moves to make the tourism sector more sustainable as well as to diversify the economy. He stressed that, in less than a year, Belize has managed to make a modest economic recovery with overall macro-performance for the year ahead of target at around six percent, triple IMF estimates, although this is a tenuous positive with Belize now in the midst of a third COVID-19 wave.
“Minister Coye emphasized that the approach to a sustainable and resilient recovery of the tourism sector is holistic and that Belize aims to enhance overall safety for visitors, and at the same time provide financial and technical support to tourism businesses, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises, to aid in their recovery,” the Ministry said in a statement today.
Coye added that the economy must be further diversified by increasing agricultural exports and expanding business process outsourcing.
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