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TaiwanICDF helps Belize to bring broadband fiber connection to homes nationwide

TaiwanICDF helps Belize to bring broadband fiber connection to homes nationwide

The International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) signed a loan agreement on June 28, 2018 to support BTL’s National Broadband Plan.

TaiwanICDF Secretary General Amb. Timothy T.Y. Hsiang, BTL Chairman of Director of Board Nestor Vasquez and Director Eric Eusey signed the loan agreement on behalf of their respective sides at a ceremony at the Digicell flagship store in Belize City. The Government of Belize had designated Financial Secretary of the Belizean Ministry of Finance Joseph Waight to be present at the ceremony and sign the guarantee agreement with the TaiwanICDF, signaling the lending project is highly valued by the government. Ambassador of Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize Charles K.Y. Liu, members of Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize, officials from the Ministry of Finance and major media reporters witnessed the signing ceremony.

TaiwanICDF Secretary General Ambassador Hsiang stated at the ceremony that based on Taiwan’s successful development experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the TaiwanICDF has been dedicated to cooperation with our partner countries in Central America and the Caribbean on ICT-based projects since 2006. The request from the Government of Belize for TaiwanICDF’s participation in upgrading the broadband infrastructure demonstrates that the TaiwanICDF’s contribution to utilizing ICT for development has been widely recognized by our partner countries.

The loan for BTL’s National Broadband Plan aims to help Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Belizean government realize an important national policy of deploying internet broadband fiber to the home (FTTH) service throughout Belize. BTL Chairman of Director of Board Nestor Vasquez said at the ceremony that the TaiwanICDF’s financing will elevate Belize's countrywide broadband network, increase internet speeds, carrying capacity and coverage, and provide Belizean people with wider access to faster and high quality internet services.

Financial Secretary Joseph Waight expressed appreciation on behalf of Prime Minister Barrow and the government to Taiwan’s government and the TaiwanICDF for their strong support in advancing the telecommunications infrastructure of the country.

The cooperation between the TaiwanICDF and BTL had been greatly facilitated by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize. Ambassador Liu stated after the signing ceremony that the broadband infrastructure project will create a partnership among the two Governments of Taiwan and Belize, the TaiwanICDF and BTL, delivering upgraded and good-quality internet service, facilitating the lives of the Belizean people, and broadening the cooperation between Taiwan and Belize on information technology and telecommunications.

According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Development Index (IDI) 2017, the fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants were six persons in Belize, lower than the global average of 12 inhabitants. BTL’s National Broadband Plan is to replace its existing copper networks with fiber optic networks and connect to homes and businesses in three years. Ninety percent of households within Belize will benefit under the plan.

The TaiwanICDF’s financing will help the Government of Belize realize its national development goals through strengthening broadband infrastructure, making it possible to have more ICT applications such as online health care services, e-learning, public services and increased levels of electronic commerce. This will encourage innovation and spur economic growth, enabling the country to create competitive advantage.

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  • Date:2018/6/29