CARILED, through whom the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) channels the ir resources to aid countries in the Caribbean with their local economic development plan, including Belize, met today at the YWCA in Belmopan with members of the Belmopan City Council. On the table for discussion was the progress in the capitals business development. Ralston Frazer, Belmopan City Councilor with responsibility for Business Development and Investment told us more about today’s meeting with CARILED.
Ralston Frazer, Councilor, Business Development: What we were doing this morning was that we were meeting all together with people from all over the region, from St. Lucia, from Jamaica, from Trinidad and the directors from Canada for us to update them on how Belize is progressing because they were going to do an analysis on how we have progressed since we first started. Pretty much that was what the meeting was about.
Emmanuel Pech, Reporter: Now what the visit here was for specifically Belmopan, the activities going on, development going on in Belmopan, what was some of the key aspects that were pointed out to the directors?
Ralston Frazer, Councilor, Business Development: Well this all started some time ago when we wanted to give focus on local economic development. We found out that we have a lot of businesses that are informal, and we wanted to make them formal.
Belmopan is one of three municipalities registered under CARILED. The other two are Belize City and San Ignacio. Frazer detailed some of the main progress that the Belmopan Municipality has made since the election of the City Council earlier in the year.
Ralston Frazer, Councilor, Business Development: The progress that we’ve made is extensive, because a lot of the things outlined in the municipal development plan as it relates to the local development plan, we have a check list and we are pretty much advanced in it because we have checked off quite a bit of them . For example, we had some consultants coming in from Canada on four different occasions to help us with their expertise in zoning and putting the bylaws together and creating a downtown area and all these sort of things. It’s going to be costly, but one of the beautiful things is that through Cariled it doesn’t have to be a cost bore on our own. There are partners involve who give assistance in these kind of things Internationally, and one of the things they love about Belmopan is that it is considered, and it lives up to the name so far, a green city, and that says a lot in this time.
The project proposal under CARILED has a time frame of 10 to 15 years. By then the Belmopan City council hopes to have transformed the Garden city into an economically flourishing municipality.