Belize City- On Thursday, November 22, the Ambassador of Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) H.E. Ambassador Charles K. Y. Liu officially handed over the Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS) to the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber and the Central Information Technology Office (CITO) of the Government of Belize. The ceremony took place at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina.
The handing over is a result of the official completion of a 5-year bilateral ICT project of Belize which aims to assist Belize in boosting the efficiency of its existing import-export licensing and permit issuing processes. The total budget of this project was US 1.8 million, of which US 1.5 million was provided by the Taiwan Government.
The completion of this project achieves digitalized and integrated import and export licensing services provided by various government departments. The BELAPS system will be able to provide Belizean citizens and businesses with a one-stop online service, and thereby reduce the time involved in processing the relevant licenses by up to 60%. At present, users are able to select over 2000 import/export products within 24 different electronic licenses/permits from the different departments. In addition, the system allows for online payments of fees, via credit card or to treasury departments countrywide. These methods cater for different types of clients, for example, domestic and international. Furthermore, since BELAPS is linked to Belize’s Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), it facilitates monitoring of import/export activities for the government, resulting in more efficient and accurate collection of market and trade information.
This project has not only brought a new system to benefit Belize but has also provided significant capacity building to government personnel to ensure sustainability after handover. For the system security component, CITO successfully achieved ISO 27001 certification in 2015 with support from Taiwan. Lastly, to ensure continued system development two Belizean seed instructors received training in Taiwan in Java programming and acquired their Oracle Certified Professional Java SE Programmer qualifications. By way of information sharing, they can now help cooperating units and the government in building the capacity to develop systems independently.