BCCI calls for transparency of the BTL “Settlement”

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued a press release this evening in which it calls for transparency of the BTL “Settlement. The release says that BCCI

“stands by its position made six years ago that it was not necessary for the Government of Belize to expropriate BEL and BTL. Despite our reservations regarding nationalization, BCCI recognizes the efforts made by Fortis and the Government to arrive at a common agreement for the settlement of BEL. The ownership of BEL is no longer in question and the final cost of the settlement was made public to the Belizean People in clear and transparent language.”

The release continues to say that BCCI

“…  is most concerned at the method of Prime Ministerial Governance displayed with regard to the BTL settlement. The Prime Minister unilaterally negotiated and bound our country to make a $162.7 MM payment with the possibility of yet further payments due at the conclusion of the still outstanding Dunkeld arbitration case. “

Furthermore, the release says,

“The hasty move by the Government to announce the settlement of BTL has caused major confusion among Belizeans who are trying to comprehend how a settlement can be made official when the true and final financial cost of the said settlement is as yet unknown. The uncertainty of such action is far reaching and continues to leave us in the dark as to the quantum of Belize’s full national debt.  The BCCI calls for full transparency of the financial cost associated with the BTL settlement agreement including the specific financial accounts that will be used to pay for the full and final BTL settlement.”

The release ends by saying that

“BCCI also reiterates that there is a need to strengthen the financial system and create more accountable governance, increase transparency, combat corruption, and place priority emphasis on measures aimed at improving our investment environment in order to accelerate economic growth for the benefit of all Belizeans.”

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