And all our opportunities to speak with these Senior Government officials came from a major gathering between them and members of the private sector and the public sector.
That gathering was due to the launch of the Caribbean Growth Forum, the Belizean National Chapter. 7News attend and found out that this workshop was being supported by major organizations in the international community:
Kay Menzies - President, BCCI
"Welcome to the kick off section of the Growth Forum Belize Chapter. As we know all too well, Belize faces many challenges, such that in total they feel almost insurmountable. Our debt levels, even after the restructuring are higher than we can afford at the current rate of growth especially considering the need to invest in infrastructure development, in development of an enabling environment for business, and in improvement about people's quality of life."
Amparo Masson - Director, Public-Private Sector Dialog, Office of PM
"The Caribbean Growth Forum initiative is structured, transparent and draws from common grounds, it manages progress and engages the general public in the form activities. The success of our chapter and the progress we make will hinge on our willingness and ability to turn words into actions, it will rely in the strength of our partnership."
Anneke Jessen - Country Rep., IDB
"On behalf of the Inter-American bank and all the CGF development partners - I would like to welcome you to the Belize launch of the Caribbean Growth Forum, the CGF. This is a joint initiative by the Caribbean Program, the IDB, the World Bank, the Caribbean Development bank, along with support from the Canadian international development agency, the American Partner for International Development, the CARICOM Secretariat and the University of the West Indies. All of us are very honored to support the government of Belize, the economic development council and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry in their efforts to strengthen public/private sector dialogues in Belize and we are confident that the CGF will contribute to that goal and we're extremely honored to be working with all of you."
Dr. Carla Barnett - Vice President, Operations, CDB
"We in the development community along with Government, private sector and other stakeholders are seeking through the Growth Forum to work collaboratively and carve out a path for a sustainable growth level in our economies. Growth which is necessary for our citizens to achieve a better quality of life."
Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade
"I'm very pleased to see the turn out today from the Private Sector because it shows that the partnership is working. We've had events in the past where the participation has been very anemic but today it really shows that people are ready to get together on both sides. We had a large turn out from the government side at the most senior level and certainly a large turn out of all the sectors in the Private sector to come in and have discussions on this."
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister Belize
"Let me then in terms of my prepared remarks extend a heart felt welcome to the Caribbean Growth Forum Initiative and all the representatives of the development agencies that had established and are supporting it. Allow me to express appreciation on behalf of the people and government of Belize for their collaboration in helping us establish a national chapter of the CGF in Belize. It is no secret that the government of Belize by way of the current administration has maintained a strong focus on sustained improvement in the standard of living of all."
The CGF continued late into the afternoon.