Belize Economics and Business


Abbreviated as BLZ by, Belize is considered by the World Bank as a medium-income country. The country is dependent on foreign aid for its investments and, through favorable conditions, seeks to attract foreign capital to the business community.

Belize GDP (Nominal, $USD) 2003-2017

In 2006, foreign companies began extracting oil off the coast of the country and oil exports now account for one-third of export revenues.

Of the total area, only a few percent are agricultural land, but the industry accounts for 25 percent of exports. The main products are sugar and citrus fruits. For export, for example, bananas and cocoa are grown, while maize, rice and beans go to local consumption. Hurricanes in 2007 and 2010 as well as major floods in 2008 hit the country’s agricultural industry hard. Belize is forest rich (44 percent of the country is covered by forest), but timber (primarily mahogany), which was previously the country’s dominant export product, now accounts for 2 percent of exports. On the other hand, fishing is of great importance for both domestic consumption and export (lobster).

The industry, which is underdeveloped, is focused on processing products from the arable industries, such as sugar, fruit (including juice concentrate), timber and fish. These products, together with clothing and oil, also constitute the majority of the country’s exports. The much larger imports consist of industrial products, fuel and food. The largest trading partners are the United States and the United Kingdom. Like many of its neighboring countries, Belize is investing in developing the tourism industry.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Belize, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.


In order to increase the inflow of foreign currency, the government has sought to develop the tourism industry. The number of foreign visitors has risen sharply, but the number is still quite modest from an international perspective; Every year, about 250,000 tourists and about 600,000 cruise visitors come to the country. Foremost are tourists from the United States. Belize has fine beaches, the world’s second largest coral reef and many small islands (cays). Furthermore, there are interesting remains from the Maya civilization. You want to invest heavily in ecotourism. in connection with the country’s nature reserve.

Note: the capital city of Belize is Belmopan with a population of 13,400 (estimate 2020). Other major cities include Belize City with a population of 61 500, San Ignacio / Santa Elena with a population of 16 800 (2020 estimate).

Belize Economics and Business

History. – The process of decolonization of the Belize, which in 1964 had obtained internal self-government, was hindered by the claims of Guatemala on the territory of the former British Honduras. On September 21, 1981, the Belize finally achieved independence within the Commonwealth, but the failure to reach an agreement with Guatemala led the United Kingdom to leave its troops in the country to guarantee its defense.

The life of the young state is in fact conditioned by the risks of annexation by Guatemala, whose claims are based on historical reasons, but in reality they are mainly of an economic nature (access to the Atlantic coast as an outlet for the northern Guatemalan regions, interest in the exploitation of oil possibly discovered).

Subsequent attempts at compromise failed in the face of Guatemala’s request to obtain at least part of the southern Belize and its refusal to go beyond certain concessions on territorial waters and transit rights. The advent of a civilian government in Guatemala (1986), which re-established diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom after a hiatus of 23 years, however, favored a resumption of negotiations with Belize starting in 1987. In May 1988 she was set up a joint commission of representatives of the Belize, Guatemala and the United Kingdom, with the task of drafting a treaty that puts an end to the controversy by establishing the independence of the Belize and the borders between it and Guatemala.

Internally, the first elections after independence (December 1984) interrupted the long hegemony of the People’s United Party (PUP), the dominant political force since the 1950s, whose leader, G. Price, had been prime minister since 1964, and saw the victory of the more conservative United Democratic Party (UDP). The new government, headed by the leader of the UDP M. Esquivel, gave economic policy a change in the liberal sense, trying above all to stimulate the inflow of foreign capital, but, after a bitter conflict with the opposition of the PUP, was defeated by the latter in the elections in September 1989, which put Price back in charge of the country. The improvement of relations with Guatemala allowed Belize’s admission to the Organization of American States in January 1991.

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