GOB Says Blue Bonds Drastically Reduced Leverage Ratio – Love FM
On the economic front, the Statistical Institute of Belize reports that the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio has fallen to 88% from 133% in 2020. The decline is largely attributed to the historic Superbond swap, valued at 553 million US dollars, to a blue bond. The so-called debt-for-nature swap has reduced the country’s external debt by about 12% of GDP. Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Marcello Blake spoke out on the issue, calling it a step in the right direction.
Marcelo Blake, President, BCCI: “On the debt side, in December 2021 our domestic debt was around 3.9 million, okay, so almost 4, sorry, billion. Almost 4 billion and so with GDP in 2021 now listed at 4.4 billion it makes you see how the math used to go but ultimately I think what’s most important in all of this is how those numbers are going to be seen from a debt to GDP ratio in the international arena because at the end of the day, when we were at 110% of GDP in the calculation and now we’re somewhere around 89, that gives us some leeway in so that we, in countries can hopefully access funds, but this is all speculation as it all depends on how these rating agencies such as Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, the World Bank, the IDB, IMF and all others It should also be noted that although the debt to GDP ratio is a factor is just one of many factors that these IFIs and rating agencies look at to determine our ability to repay. So it’s a shift and ultimately it’s mostly about seeing what I think internationally, or how internationally we’re going to be perceived with these adjustments. The reality is that on the ground, the ordinary individual feels no fit in this calculation because, let’s be honest, at the end of the day, the hard numbers don’t change. Very well? So it’s something to watch. I mean, how will the consumer, businesses feel about this impact and I’ll be honest, we don’t know what it will be because the numbers change, but the hard numbers don’t.
The SIB reported that by the end of 2021, Belize’s economic output had reached higher levels than what was recorded for 2019 before the pandemic. The secondary and tertiary sectors experienced the strongest growth during this first quarter, driven in large part by the following industries: manufacturing; Construction; Electricity; Water; Hotels and Restaurants; Wholesale and retail trade; and Transport.