Line of credit worth USD$10 mil will help Belizean MSMEs to thrive
BELMOPAN, BELIZE — A hefty line of credit from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will support local businesses and thereby create more jobs in Belize.
At least, this is what stakeholders and financial institution representatives are hoping will be the outcome of the USD$10 million being provided to Belize Bank Limited (BBL).
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) provide the majority of jobs in Belize. As such, it’s an entirely reasonable possibility that more support of and investment in these local businesses will enable them to expand and add even more jobs to the economy.
According to an official IDB announcement on the matter, “IDB Invest welcomed Belize Bank Limited to its Trade Finance Facilitation Program (TFFP), opening a USD$10 million credit line with a 180-day tenor.”
It noted that the program is expected to, among other things, “help BBL cater to the growing financial needs of the private sector and support key business linkages in the rising demand for goods and services.”
“The program will also expand support to existing industries, and new and emerging businesses in sustaining productivity and job creation…” the IDB said.
“This partnership reinforces the commitment of IDB Invest and Belize Bank Limited to create a hub for investment and trade for the nation and the region while creating opportunities for communities.”
Job creation through MSME development
Belize is not the only Caribbean country whose local business community employs the lion’s share of residents. In countries like Jamaica, MSMEs likewise provide a significant portion of local, stable jobs.
The potential of MSMEs, if given the right support and investment, is so potent that regional economists, business leaders and Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO Joseph Boll himself have all projected that it will be a major source of economic growth as the Caribbean recovers from the pandemic.
Alluding to the potential for strengthened MSMEs to create more jobs in Belize, IDB Country Representative Rocío Medina Bolivar said, “This operation will contribute to the development of MSMEs, allowing them to access the necessary funding to become competitive in the international markets.
“As we know, MSMEs are the backbone of the economy in Belize, providing employment to more than two-thirds of the labour force.”
BBL Chairman and CEO Filippo Alario additionally noted: “Through this partnership, we look forward to promoting trade and contributing to our clients’ ability to become more competitive by accessing financing and growing their international business, as well as to contribute to the growth of the Belizean economy.”