Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2023. 1:23 pm CST.
Contributed by Ministry of Economic Development: In its 8th edition, the World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its 193 Member States recently held their WSIS Prizes contest. Belize’s Online Business Registry System (OBRS) which went live on November 28, 2022 was selected this year as a WSIS Prize 2023 Champion in category 7 – E- Business- ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life. The WSIS Prizes 2023 ceremony for Champions took place earlier today, March 15th 2023, at the Geneva International Congress Center in Geneva, Switzerland.
OBRS was created with the vision to digitally transform business registration thereby enhancing accessibility of business registration services, modernize business registration products, improve data integrity and raise the awareness of the value of business creation to the economy. OBRS which is based on NRD Companies’ Unified Registry Platform URP© is the first digital registry service of its kind in Belize and was one of 900 submitted projects of which 360 were nominated for the online voting following a comprehensive review by a panel of experts. More than 1.5 million votes were then casted and OBRS was among the topmost voted in its category.
Winning the Champion award is a major accomplishment for Belize and stakeholders involved in the execution of the project. WSIS represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for development community and is co-organized by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD. The contest was developed in response to requests from WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate projects and activities that leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to advance sustainable development.
“The WSIS Prizes provides a distinctive worldwide platform for recognizing and highlighting exemplary accomplishments in executing the WSIS Action Lines and SDGs. We are extremely proud of being awarded a Champion Prize and are grateful to the WSIS and ITU for the honor”, says Mr. Claude B.F. Haylock, FSC Director General, Registrar of Merchant Shipping & Registrar of Companies.
Implementing the OBRS was a challenging yet rewarding process and is a major milestone for Belize as it sets up the foundation for the country’s digital transformation. The project itself was championed by the Belize Financial Services Commission under the Ministry of Finance and the Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry. Mr. Haylock added, “we would also like to pay tribute to other stakeholders that were key in the creation and implementation of the project including the Honorable Prime Minister John Briceño, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of E- Governance, the Economic Development Council, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Elevate Consulting Ltd. and NRD Companies.”
The Hon. Christopher Coye, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment believes OBRS will transform the way businesses are registered in the country, improve transparency, promote accessibility, and overall will improve the ease of doing business in Belize highlighting the country as an attractive jurisdiction.
Mr. Mindaugas Glodas, CEO of NRD Companies commented that “having been awarded a prestigious WSIS Champions prize is an extraordinary achievement for Belize and as a solution developer and implementer throughout the project, we are extremely happy for our client.”
Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO in the Ministry of Economic Development congratulated the Commission, Directorate General, Mr. Claude Haylock, the project team, and staff for embracing digital innovation and for enabling a friendly and transparent environment for Belize’s business sector.
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