139,456 (2012 est.) note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel
LABOUR FORCE BY OCCUPATION
UNEMPLOYMENT 11.1% (2016)
MAIN INDUSTRIES Garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil
EASE-OF-DOING-BUSINESS RANK 112th (2017)
EXPORTS $633 million (2013 est.)
EXPORT GOODS Sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, crude oil
IMPORT GOODS Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, beverages, tobacco
GROSS EXTERNAL DEBT $1.048 billion (December 2013 est.)
PUBLIC DEBT $1.229 billion (2013 est.)
REVENUES $410.1 million (2013 est.)
EXPENSES $352.4 million (2013 est.)
CREDIT RATING CC (Domestic) CC (Foreign) CC (T&C Assessment) (Standard background:lightblue;"> Main data source: CIA WORLD FACT BOOK All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars .
The new government faces important challenges to economic stability.
Rapid action to improve tax collection has been promised, but a lack
of progress in reining in spending could bring the exchange rate under
Domestic industry is limited, constrained by relatively high-cost
labour and energy and a small domestic market.
* 1 History
* 2 Economic sectors
* 3 Trade
Belize's economy depended on forestry until well into the 20th century. Logwood , used to make dye , was Belize's initial main export. However, the supply outstripped the demand, especially as Europeans developed man-made dyes which were less expensive. Loggers turned to mahogany , which grew in abundance in the country's forests. The wood was prized for use in cabinets, ships, and railroad carriers.
While many merchants and traders became wealthy from the mahogany industry, ups and downs in the market had a large impact on the economy . In addition, new mahogany trees weren't being planted, because mahogany trees grow slowly; the rate of natural regrowth necessitated a large, long-term investment in tree farming, which was not made. As the 19th century progressed, loggers were forced to go deeper into the forests to find the trees, increasing labour costs.
Variations of mahogany exports over long periods of time were linked to the accessible supply of the resource. Thus, improvements in hauling methods helped the cutters satisfy increasing demands for mahogany by enabling them to extract timber from areas in the interior that had been previously inaccessible to them. Immediately after the introduction of cattle in the early 19th century, tractors in the 1920s, and lorries in the 1940s, production levels rose dramatically.
When the supply of accessible timber dwindled and logging became too unprofitable in the 20th century, the country's economy shifted to new sectors. Cane sugar became the principal export and recently has been augmented by expanded production of citrus , bananas , seafood , and apparel . The country has about 8,090 km² of arable land , only a small fraction of which is under cultivation. To curb land speculation, the government enacted legislation in 1973 that requires non-Belizeans to complete a development plan on land they purchase before obtaining title to plots of more than 10 acres (40,000 m²) of rural land or more than one-half acre (2,000 m²) of urban land.
Citrus fruits are Belize's second most important agricultural crop.
A major constraint on a functioning market economy in Belize
continues to be the scarcity of infrastructure investments. Although
electricity , telephone , and water utilities are all relatively good,
Further information: Transport in
Belize City ,
Dangriga , and Big Creek handle regularly
scheduled shipping from the U.S. and the
A combination of factors—climate, the
In 2011, tourist arrivals totaled 888,191 (mostly from the U.S.) and tourist receipts amounted to $260 million. The travel and tourism industry in 2011 directly contributed 350.6 million BZD (176 million USD ) to Belize's GDP (12.0% of GDP). This primarily reflects the economic activity directly generated by industries supported by tourists, such as hotels, restaurants, leisure industries, travel agents, airlines and other transportation services. The total contribution to GDP in 2011 (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain, and induced income impacts) was 971.9 million BZD (486 million USD) (33.2% of GDP). Travel and tourism directly generated 14,500 jobs in 2011 (10.9% of total employment) and, including indirect and induced effects, supported 40,000 jobs (30.1% of total employment).
A proportional representation of Belizean exports, 2010.
Belize's economic performance is highly susceptible to external market changes. Although moderate growth has been achieved in recent years, the achievements are vulnerable to world commodity price fluctuations and continuation of preferential trading agreements, especially with the U.S. (cane sugar) and UK (bananas).
Significant U.S. private investments in citrus and shrimp farms have
been made in
BELIZE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES
The IBC legislation was supplemented in 1992 with the enactment of a Trusts Act which provides for both onshore and offshore trusts.
* The IBC Act was introduced in 1990 to implement competitive
offshore legislation for
FLEXIBILITY IN COMPANY STRUCTURE
* There is no requirement for a secretary, resident or otherwise * Only one director or shareholder required for the company formation * Shareholder(s) and director(s) may be the same person * The shareholder(s) and director(s) can be a natural person or a corporate body * There is no requirement for appointing local shareholder(s) and director(s)
PRIVACY OF IDENTITY OF PRINCIPALS
* The documents for
TAXATION IN BELIZE
* According to the IBC Act of 1990, offshore companies are exempted from all taxes.
* Central Bank of
* ^ A B C D "Statistics of the Nation". Statistical Institute of
Belize. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
* ^ "Labor Force, Total". The World Bank. Retrieved 29 November
* ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Belize". Doingbusiness.org.
* ^ "Export Partners of Belize".
CIA World Factbook