The economic situation in Belize will become the central focus in a few weeks when the 2018/2019 budget is read at the end of the fiscal year. With the debt to GDP ratio having ballooned to 100% and our productive sector still facing challenges, it will undoubtedly be another budget with little economic impetus and perhaps the need to hike tax revenue generation even more than last year.
One local sector in the north that continues to feel the effects of the economic downturn is the Commercial Free Zone in the Corozal District. A report in the Por Esto newspaper in Quintana Roo this week, noted that various Mexican-owned businesses have shut their doors and exited the Zone. The report notes that dozens of businesses can be seen decorated with For Rent or For Sale signs for many months now.
The article points out that another factor is the devaluation of the Mexican currency, and the slow economy in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
The report notes that the good old days of long lines of shoppers, rushing into the zone to buy cheap clothes and liquor among other goods are now replaced with a ghost scene.
We note that among the new tax revenue measures implemented by the Barrow Administration a year ago was an increase in the social fee paid by businesses in the Free Zone.