In a recent budget proposal, the Ministry of Economy announces a $8.5 million investment plan for 2024, focusing on key sectors to drive economic growth.
In the forthcoming fiscal year, the Ministry of Economy is set to wield a budget of $57.4 million, with a significant allocation of $8.5 million earmarked for public investment projects. The majority of this funding stems from a loan obtained from the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF).
Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem, defended the proposed budget before the Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee, outlining the allocation of funds across four pivotal projects:
- Enhancing Technical Capacities for SME Innovation Management: $100,705
- Boosting Competitiveness in Industrial Sectors: $285,995
- Streamlining and Digitizing Processes: $3.4 million (part of a $75 million loan from CAF, Component I)
- Facilitating Investment Promotion for Job Creation: $4.7 million (from the $75 million CAF loan, Component III)
During her presentation, Minister Hayem emphasized the necessity for businesses to embrace innovation and new technologies. She stated, “Adopting new technologies and innovating is no longer an option for any company. It is something that must be ingrained in every venture, and that’s why we are allocating $100,705 to support our small and medium-sized enterprises.”
The lion’s share of the Ministry’s budget, 21%, will be dedicated to operational expenses, with $12 million allocated. Among these operational expenses, $5.9 million will go towards the management and administration of institutional support for technical units implementing projects in favor of businesses and the population.
Additionally, $3.2 million will be directed to the Directorate of Innovation and Competitiveness for training in technological areas, English language skills, and call center operations. Minister Hayem proudly highlighted the success of these initiatives, stating, “Over 23,000 young individuals and the general population have benefited from these training programs, thanks to collaborations with universities, higher education institutes, and international companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta.”
For trade facilitation and investment promotion, $2 million will be allocated, with $555,700 dedicated to monitoring corporate obligations and $246,545 for the implementation of electronic signatures.
The remaining $36.7 million, constituting 64% of the budget, will be distributed among 10 institutions affiliated with the Ministry of Economy. Compared to the budget approved for the current year, the proposed expenditure plan for 2024 represents a notable increase of $12.2 million, indicating a strong commitment to fostering economic growth and development.