Belize Real Estate

One thing guaranteed with Belize, you are sure to find diversity and something that would cater to your individual needs and tastes. In Belize you can find tropical islands, citrus groves, beach front condominiums, Mayan ranches, Caribbean private islands, or eco-friendly, solar-powered rainforest rest houses. Whether for business or pleasure, or even for both, you can find a real estate for you.

Real estate in Belize is exponentially cheaper than that in the United States of America and Europe. And with a fraction of prices in these countries, at Belize, you can get a piece of property overlooking the beachfront. Island living or owning a ranch is no longer a dream in Belize.

Acquiring a real estate in Belize is a great investment. Appreciation of properties has remained strong and steady through the years, and resale value is always high. There are no capital taxes and inheritance taxes and the currency exchange rate is stable.

In purchasing real estate in Belize, you can rest assured that the area is free from racial discrimination and that crimes rates are very low. And with the tropical atmosphere, you can easily relax and relieve yourself of life’s daily pressures. The political situation is very stable, and there are no sudden changes in laws since Belize is a very traditional country. Advanced infrastructures are set up throughout the country, providing you with state-of-the-art telecommunication systems and postal systems. The general population is fluent in English, so you do not have to readjust your lifestyle just to fit in the Belize community.

In Belize there is a good population of expatriates which makes assimilation much easier. In this country you can find Mennonites, Ketchki, Mopan Mayas, Garifuna, Creole, Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian, Middle Easterners, Guatemalan, Honduran, Italian, North American and British. Places like Ambergris Caye, Placencia, Corozol, and the Caye District are areas always attractive to expatriates.

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Belize Real Estate – A Few Things to Consider

You have seen the pictures and read the promo info on Belize and now you may have a few questions that would like answered. Is it that easy? What about the logistical issues regarding moving all of your furniture and belongings? What about real estate laws in a foreign country like Belize? Do they have escrow searches like they do in the U.S.? Is there anything that can go wrong?

Great Deals to Be Had

Buying real estate in any Latin American Country, such as Belize is much different from buying in the U.S. and you should be aware of the up front. To begin with, Americans are considered to be prime targets for everything from over inflated pricing, to out and out swindles. However; if you are willing to move strategically there are fantastic deals on homes and properties in prime locations to be had.

Check Your Local Real Estate Company

Begin by finding out if any of your local real estate outfits are involved in the country. You may be surprised to learn that companies like Century 21 have been in Latin American countries for some time now and you can probably head right down to their local office and have many of your questions answer on the spot. Also, never ever deal with a real estate company in any Latin American country without the assistance of a well recommended local bilingual attorney.

Consider Renting

Consider renting when you first relocate to a country like Belize. Rents on nice homes are very affordable and it will allow you time and elbow room to shop around at a much more leisurely pace. Fully furnished homes and apartments are easily available, but even so you are going to be spending most of your time exploring and eating out, so you will be surprised at how little furniture you actually need for the first year or so.

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Belize Real Estate – The Investment Hot Spot

The tourism industry in Belize is undergoing a huge metamorphosis. The boom is evident everywhere. So it is hardly surprising to find international property investors making a beeline to invest in Belize real estate.

From its pristine Caribbean shores to its lush jungle, Belize is abundant in amazing natural beauty. As the tourism industry in Belize is awakening to its potential, the property market is struggling to cope with the surge in demand for a piece of Belize real estate from foreign property investors. If recent statistics are any indicator, then Belize is well and on its way to becoming the next hot destination for international property investors.

One of the hottest expatriate destinations in Latin America, Belize offers real advantages, including a lower cost of living, a better quality of life, amazing real property opportunities, lower taxes and prolific business potential. Belize real estate listings are a great source of information for those looking to invest in property here. Prime residential properties, commercial land and business places like hotels and resorts are listed at these sites, so investors can have access to all the information that they need in one place.

Belize real estate offers excellent investment potential in the current market scenario because of several factors that are specific to this Central American country. It is a tax-shelter haven where investors do not have to pay any capital gains or inheritance tax. Property taxes are abysmally low at just one percent of the market value of the undeveloped land. Land titles can be easily transferred without going through complicated legal processes like other countries.

There are countless reasons why property investors are finding investing here as an attractive option. Foreign property investors can buy property without any prequalification or restrictions. Government rules are very flexible and do not act as a deterrent to investors. Belize, the only Central American country with English as its first language, has a stable government and a growing economy. The cost of living is inexpensive and there are retirement advantages. In fact, there is no place in Central America where property is available at such incredible rates.

The best of Belize real estate for sale can be sourced from the well-managed property portals. Property companies help investors go through the buying process with little to no hassle. They work closely with their client right from the point of initial contact until the time of title transfer. All listed Belize real estate properties are researched to ensure that the titles are clear.

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Invest In Belize Real Estate

There is no denying that Belize real estate is really one of the hottest forms of property investments available today. But before you acquire the title of your very own Belizean land, there are some important things you have to know in shopping for a suitable piece of property.

First off, when diving into Belize real estate, take note that there are six major districts. There is Belize district where the largest city of the country is-Belize City. It also covers other islands such as Caye Caulker, Goff’s Caye, English Caye, St. George’s Caye, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Chapel. Next, the largest district is Cayo district, where the capital city of Belmopan is.

There is also the Corozal district which is located in the northernmost part of Belize; and the Orange Walk district in the northwestern side with significant towns like August Pine Ridge, Guinea Grass, San Felipe, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Martha, and Trinidad.

Next, there is Stann Creek district is home to the port of Big Creek, Plancencia, Mullins River and the Garifuna village of Hopkins. Last is the southernmost district of Toledo with the towns of Monkey River Town, Silver Creek, and San Pedro Columbia.

Why do you need to know these districts if you are interested in Belize real estate? It is for the simple reason that location is one of the major factors which guide land values. The distance of the property from tourist attractions, major cities or famous landmarks affect the price of the estate you are interested in.

Also, the importance of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of these Belizean districts will allow you to assess the availability of utility infrastructure such as communication, water and electricity. You would not want to be trapped in a Belize real estate with low accessibility key utilities.

In buying properties in Belize, take note that the Department of Natural Resources charges a fee for each transaction. There is also a 5% selling consideration which will be given to the Government of Belize as transfer tax or stamp duty. For foreigners, registrations and fees will amount to USD 7.50, while for citizens, it is BZD 15. Regardless of your citizenship, 1-2% of the selling price will be used as lawyer’s fee for the legal services rendered such as drawing up contracts, deeds and other transactions.

In shopping for available properties in Belize, you can either check them up over the internet, newspapers, and agency brochures. Once you see a property you are interested in, remember that there are restrictions on land ownership for non-Belizeans nationals. One of which is that government approval is obligatory no matter how big or small the land you are buying. This should come from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Be sure that you cover all the basic restrictions before signing up your contract.

For the registration and title of your most coveted Belize real estate, take note of the three different systems they use: Registered Land Act system, Conveyance system, and Torrens system. The system that you will use depends where your property is located, so determine where the property you are interested in fall under since you have to abide by the law.

Obviously you will need to do a good job of research on each piece of property that you are considering to purchase. Much of the real estate business in Belize is unlicensed by the government. As a result finding a reliable and honest agent is critical. In addition finding a good real estate attorney is very important in assuring that all your interests are protected. Never the less investing in Belize real estate is a very good idea.

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Belize Real Estate – Tips on the Purchasing Process

The idea of buying property in a foreign country like Belize can be very daunting and confusing.

The first step involves finding a reputable real estate agent in Belize. It’s best to ask for testimonials from other clients or referrals to ensure the agent is competent and trustworthy. Then, after the agent has helped you find a property you’d like to purchase, the next step involves presenting the seller with a formal OFFER TO PURCHASE.

This important document should be provided by your Belize real estate agent and should include the following:

* Purchaser’s name and address
* Vendor’s name and address
* The LEGAL DESCRIPTION of the Property, eg. Lot # 56 blah blah blah.
* The purchase price offered.
* Any other terms of the offer. All terms of the sale will have been written into the offer by the real estate agent, such as time frames for closing, etc.
* The purchaser must sign the Offer to Purchase and provide a deposit.

Your Belize real estate agent will present the formal Offer to Purchase to the seller. The seller may accept the offer or respond with a counter-offer. If the seller accepts then he will sign and execute the offer.

At this point you should usually retain the services of a Belize Attorney to supervise consummation of the deal.

The lawyer’s job is primarily to ensure the property title is “good and marketable”. He should do all necessary Title or Deed searches to uncover any hidden encumbrances which may be present on the Title or Deed. Also, he should check the “plan of survey” to verify the location and dimensions of the property. Lawyer’s fees for real estate transactions in Belize generally range between one per cent and three per cent.

Check the yellow pages or ask your Belize real estate agent for a list of reputable attorneys if you need recommendations.

A huge point of confusion for many foreigners is the fact there are three legal types of land title registrations currently used in Belize.

* There is the Minister’s Fiat Grant, or “Conveyance system”, which provides buyers with a “Deed of Conveyance”.
* There is the Certificate of Title system (also known as the Torrens system) which provides buyers with the old style “Certificate of Title”.
* There is the new Registered Lands Act system, which provides the buyer with a new style “Certificate of Title” which adheres to the recently passed Registered Lands Act.

Different parts of the country use different systems, but the Government of Belize has been converting all properties in the country to the new Registered Land Act system, area by area. All three systems provide the owner with indisputable, legal proof of ownership for their Belize real estate,

Once the property is shown to be “Free and Clear and Marketable” by the lawyer, the buyer would then transfer the funds for purchase to an escrow account in Belize. This is usually done by direct wire transfer from your bank in the U.S. or Canada.

The final steps of the purchase process involve paying the stamp duty, also known as a 5 per cent land transfer tax. The stamp duty is payable on any Belize real estate transactions valued at over $20,000 Belize dollars. Usually the stamp duty is paid by the buyer and will be stipulated in the Offer to Purchase.

The funds for purchase are then transferred to the seller. The land transfer documents are signed by the seller, and then filed or “Lodged” with the Land Registry department in the capital city of Belmopan. Once the documents are filed at the Land Registry Department the land then becomes the property of the buyer.

And that’s it, now you can enjoy your newly purchased Belize Real Estate!

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The Unintended Consequences of Globalism

Globalism might be good for the world economy as a whole, but does not necessarily mean it has been good for the American worker. Whether intentional or unintended, the American worker has suffered through the philosophy of free trade. Do not miss quote me, Globalism has a lot of positives. Now more than ever the people of earth are connected through the internet and can communicate information faster than any other time in history. People are exposed to different cultures and ideas, and the free flow of information is exponentially evolving our society. “Free trade” plays a big part in globalism, which is why there has been a “backlash” from non-college educated workers in wealthy countries in direct response to the effects of free trade policies. When wealthy counties openly trade with developing countries it can overvalue the wealthy countries currency, which in turn makes imports cheaper while exports become more expensive. However, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the real culprit is not the valuation of the dollar and the increasing trade deficit. (Bivens, Economic Policy Institute)

The USA has increasingly shifted its economy from manufacturing to services like banking and investing. It is cheaper to import products of manufacturing from a country that has extremely cheap labor than it is to employ American workers in the United States. This in turn means there now is a premium on college educated Americans who are filling job openings within the service industry. On the other side of the coin, manufacturing jobs are leaving the country and lowering wages of workers without a college degree. This fact coupled with increasing technology that replaces workers and a trade policy that out prices “expensive” American workers is leading to decreased wages. As the US trades more with developing countries as a percentage of GDP, the wages of unskilled workers continue to decrease. (Slaughter and Swagle, International Monetary Fund)

Though Globalism has a net increase in GDP and employment for countries involved, most of the gains from free trade is disproportionately received by the top 1% of Americans. Policies that protect corporations and their interest at the expense of the American worker exacerbate the problem. Trade policies like NAFTA and others have little protections for workers and heavily favor the multinational corporations that seek to benefit from free trade. This only adds fuel to income inequality, which for poor countries can increase economic growth while having a negative effect on rich countries. Rich countries are also at higher risk of financial crisis when they have high levels of income inequality. (Malinen, Huffington Post)

Globalism and free trade are linked very close together, which is why there is a stigma attributed to the word. There has been growing resentment within the US and other wealthy nations of globalism as a whole. They do not just condemn free trade, but openly blame minorities and marginalized groups for their decrease in wages and “eroding” their cultural dominance that they claim dominion over. This is a deadly cycle, as income inequality only feeds this type of behavior. In a country that is not adequately educating its people, more of the workers within its country will become more ignorant. With free trade putting a premium on college educated workers and decreasing wages of unskilled labor, we are now almost at a tipping point, socially and economically.

Globalism has many unintended consequences that inadvertently caused huge social and economic problems within the US. The problems that globalism is causing is not a hard fix. Reducing the income inequality will eradicate more of the negative effects of globalism. Universal Education, Universal healthcare, and a rewrite of our tax code are just a few ways to reduce income inequality. All of these possibilities are well within our means. We have to take care of these problems swiftly, before globalism becomes an integral part of our own decline. (Mason, Post-Gazette)

Bivens, Josh. “Using Standard Models to Benchmark the Costs of Globalization for American Workers without a College Degree.” Economic Policy Institute. N.p., 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Malinen, Tuomas. “The Economic Consequences of Income Inequality.” The Huffington Post., 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Mason, Bob. “Single-payer Health Care Would Help to Treat Three Separate Threats.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. N.p., 26 Oct. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Slaughter, Matthew, and Phillip Swagel. “Economic Issues 11–Does Globalization Lower Wages and Export Jobs?” International Monetary Fund., Sept. 1997. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

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Global Trends in the Cosmetic Industry

Cosmetic dyes and colours: Explained

Cosmetic colours are also known as cosmetic lakes. These colours are produced by taking the help of absorption of dyes that are water-soluble onto a substrate. It makes the colour insoluble in water. Cosmetic lake colours are made by making use of unique technology. The technology helps in attaining extremely fine particles. These particles help in achieving shade consistency. In comparison water soluble colours, cosmetic lakes are much more stable & safe. They also generate vivacious and brighter colours. It has been seen that cosmetic pigments and lakes are more suitable for food products that contain fats and oils. They are also suitable for those products that do not contain enough moisture for dissolving colours.

Cosmetic dyes, on the other hand are used for making cosmetic colours & products. These dyes are widely used by the cosmetic manufacturing industries and businesses all over the world. They are primarily used for manufacturing hair dyes, lipsticks, nail polishes, shampoo as well as other personal care products. It has been seen that generally water soluble & food dyes are very easy and safe to use. These dyes are mostly used for a wide variety of applications. They include cleaning chemicals, soaps, medicine, cosmetic products etc.

Know which ones are safe for use

Be it the use of any type of cosmetic dyes or cosmetic colorants safety of use is a primary consideration. Cosmetic colours and cosmetic dyes often make use of a wide range of synthetic colours. These are often referred to as FD&C colours. They are mainly extracted through coal tar and are basically a by-product of petroleum. Research shows that some particular coal tar based dyes lead to different types of cancer. This is why the FDA regulates them. They also determine the arsenic or lead amount they contain. Thus there are many restrictions in the use of such colours.

Some global trends in Cosmetic dyes and cosmetic colours

Worldwide it is seen that North America, followed by Europe, has the largest market for colour cosmetics. This is due to innovations in colour cosmetics. Other factors also include high consumer disposable income and frequent new product launches in colour cosmetic market in the region. However Asia too is expected to show high growth rate in the colour cosmetics market in next few years. This is on account of the increasing consumer incomes and rising in awareness about personal care products in the region.

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Economic Turmoil and the Future of Brazil

For many years, Brazil has been an emerging economic hub, attracting investors from all over the world. The Brazilian economy saw an 368% increase in Gross Domestic Product growth from 2003 to 2011. In addition, Brazil took in almost half of Foreign Direct Investment flowing into South America during 2015. This doesn’t come as a surprise since it reigns as one of the major emerging national economies. However, Brazil has seen a recent economic downturn with increasing unemployment and a contracting GDP. In fact, the Brazilian government cut 2017 GDP expectations from 1.6% to 1% growth. Having been one the most lucrative foreign investments for governments to individual investors, what happened to the so-called “Country of the Future” and can Brazil regain its momentum?

Back in 2015, recession hit Brazil hard and the country is still struggling to get back on track. According to the CIA World Factbook, the economy contracted 32% from its peak in 2011 and unemployment reached a new high at 12.6% in 2016. Being based mostly on services, agriculture and oil, Brazil’s economy has a direct correlation with global demand. With global recession looming, Brazil is feeling the effects of a slow world economy.

Brazil is a top tourist destination offering beautiful beaches, a diverse culture and exciting festivals. However, with the world economy slowing down, people are less likely to travel abroad. Since the majority of the country’s GDP derives from the service industry, Brazil will not be able to rebound any time soon unless there is a major boost in consumer confidence.

The demand for Brazilian exports was slashed when its largest trading partner, China, entered into an economic slowdown of their own. The decrease in exports caused massive layoffs throughout the nation. The notorious economic downward spiral began by wary consumer spending as unemployment rose. Companies that tried to gain capital by borrowing in U.S. dollars found it difficult to pay back those loans as the Brazilian Real crashed 25% in the span of a year in 2015.

One of the major hits came from low oil prices and the corruption of Petrobras, a large oil company and Brazil’s largest source of investment. Brazil is major producer of oil, exporting $11.8 billion worth in 2015, according to the Observatory for Economic Complexity. OPEC delivered a major blow when the cartel decided not to cut oil production, causing oil futures prices to plunge. In order to cope with heavy losses, Petrobras was forced to sell off assets and halt future research and expansion plans.

As if things weren’t going poorly, Petrobras was also caught in a scandal with former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and other high office executives. From 2004 to 2012, the company had spent over $2 billion on bribes to politicians whom would allow the company to charge inflated prices for construction contracts. Now that the scandal has unfolded, Petrobras executives face jail time and the company as a whole is forced to pay billions in fines.

So what does the future hold for Brazil?

Although at the moment the future looks dim, there are still signs of hope Brazil can turn itself around. The Real has seemed to stabilize in 2016 and heads into 2017 with an upward trend. Moreover, experts’ GDP projections for 2018 through 2020 show promising figures that Brazil can restore pre-recession level growth.

Even more promising, U.S. companies are still showing faith in Brazil’s future. American Airlines plans to invest $100 million in an aircraft maintenance center in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Investment Partnership Minister Wellington Moreira Franco and many countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan agree there are still reasons to invest in Brazil. This should be seen as a sign of confidence that the Brazilian market will grow soundly with the support of both national and international investment.

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The Effects Of The Global Trade Agreement

We live in a world that is increasingly getting connected. In such a world, trade agreements are bound to expand internationally, and to think and act otherwise would be downright stupid.

These global trade agreements, as such, are either bilateral or multilateral understanding between two or multiple countries and govern the trade policies between them. These agreements have a massive impact on worldwide trade and investments and are one of the major causes responsible for shaping business relationships across the globe. And while such agreements might not affect directly affect the place where you live or operate, being aware of the current trade agreements can definitely uncover numerous opportunities.

Forming up opinions is up to you; we do not intend to initiate an argument over how good or how bad these global trade agreements are. This article aims to get you familiarized with such agreements and tell if your supply chain could be affected or not.

While a few countries have settled upon free trade agreements and are in the process of widening them, a number of other nations have formed common markets and unions; this form of development can a have a thorough effect on small-scale businesses.

Two of the most common agreements are the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Brunei, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia and Japan, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, United States and Mexico.

Now, how such agreements impact your local business’s supply chain depends on a simple fact; whether your business is an importer, exporter or neither.

Scenario 1: You neither import nor export

It’s fairly easy to decide whether you are an importer or not, right? I understand that you do not directly source products from a foreign supplier, and technically speaking, that doesn’t make you an importer. However, trade agreements can still impact you. Your suppliers are directly affected by such regulations, and this vulnerability can affect your supply chain.

Keep the distinction in mind.

Scenario 2: You identify yourself as an importer

Owing to the low cost manufacturing in some countries, many small scale suppliers are able to compete with global giants.

With a trade agreement between two countries, most of the times, the country with lower labour costs benefits when the trade tariffs are lowered or eliminated. With trade agreements, importers usually get to source low-cost goods and it allows for the unrestricted movement of such low-cost goods through higher cost partner nation.

In case, such an agreement is dissolved, an importer would inevitably face a higher cost of goods and thus look for cheaper sourcing options, decrease their operational costs, and ultimately increase the prices, which would be borne by the customers, of course.

Scenario 3: You are an exporter

This even counts if you sell products that another firm exports because at some point or other, taxes would be levied on your sold goods. So how does it affect you? Your customers end up paying higher amounts for your products.

With a trade agreement in place between the country where the product originates and the receiving country, the very same products would move through the receiving nation freely. In such cases, you’d definitely want to keep such an agreement intact and leverage this competitive advantage you have in this particular country bound by trade regulations.

As a small or a medium sized business, it is therefore important for you to identify where your business lies with respect to global trade agreements.

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The Paramounted Importance of Critical Analysis in International Trade Policies

International trade is largely based on the constant fluctuations in the world-wide economy, this resulting in constant changes with regards to tariffs, trade subsidies and unending amendments of regulations with regards to international trade. “Trade policy and economic Growth”, a paper by Keith Maskus, PhD, focuses on the relationship between trade policies and the growth of the economy or lack thereof, the main point of interest of the paper was to establish whether the variance of trade policies will affect the economic growth of any country. The conclusion reached was that open economies tend to grow faster than closed economies, ceteris paribus. therefore concluding that open competition is good in the sense that it improves resource distribution and the country gains in Investment and innovation.

An organisation that is involved in international trade has to pay special attention to such information. There might not be any countries with closed economies however there are countries that have low imports to the point that they are regarded as closed economies for instance Brazil. In 2011 Brazil recorded 13% as its import percentage which was quite low for a country of its stature. Is it not then imperative to constantly be up to date with changes in the trade policies of countries one is interested in pursuing trade relations with? since there is a proven positive relationship between the openness of an economy to competition (thus meaning the country is greatly involved in trade) and the growth of that country`s economy, this serves as an indication of how lucrative and profitable a business venture would be under such circumstances. The Critical analysis aspect then comes into play by determining how much gain or loss would result from substantial changes to the policies, which are measures and instruments that can influence export and imports, the objective being the policies influence the trade sector to the result of profit for the business venture. one might feel a degree in commercial management is then needed in order to fully understand all the kinks and edges of the international business, and they would be right, but the eventuality is that it will always boil down to intelligence and efficiency in the analysis of trends, calculation of potential profit/loss, predictions of future stability or fluctuations in the world economy prompting changes to prices in the trade sector.

There is one other important factor that can alter potential business plans, and that is the politics of the country in question, policies are easily influenced by the politics of the nation, and it is thus advisable that critical analysis be also engaged, this results in better understanding of the country and its stability thus reducing the chances of incurring a bad business eventuality. Nations are not governed by robots, unfortunately, but are governed by people with interests and human nature desires to differ from individual to individual making it difficult to maintain a constant effective system. if politicians are elected they tend to focus on altering policies for their own benefit, and the benefit of those they promised (if there are still honest politician available) from that point it is important that international business consider such factors before pursuing business. Prime examples being, whenever there are strikes in South Africa investors tend to shy away, and most of the strikes are birthed from political influence, thus deeming South Africa an Unstable nation to invest in, or Zimbabwe a nation sanctioned, due to political infringements, making the country undesirable for investment irregardless of the profitability of the business idea. It is thus an excellent idea to firstly research in-depth to the politics of the country before hand and invest with,much-needed information, guiding the innovative decision made.

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