139,456 (2012 est.) note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel
Labour force by occupation
Unemployment 11.1% (2016)
Garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil
Exports $633 million (2013 est.)
Sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, crude oil
Main export partners
Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, beverages, tobacco
Main import partners
Gross external debt
$1.048 billion (December 2013 est.)
$1.229 billion (2013 est.)
Revenues $410.1 million (2013 est.)
Expenses $352.4 million (2013 est.)
CC (Domestic) CC (Foreign) CC (T&C Assessment) (Standard & Poor's)
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.
1 History 2 Economic sectors
2.1 Agriculture 2.2 Energy 2.3 Transport 2.4 Tourism
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.
A major constraint on a functioning market economy in
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).
The IBC Act was introduced in 1990 to implement competitive offshore
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.
^ 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. Retrieved
^ "Export Partners of Belize". CIA World Factbook. 2015. Retrieved
^ "Import Partners of Belize". CIA World Factbook. 2015. Retrieved
^ "Sovereign Ratings List". Standard & Poor's. January 6, 2017.
Retrieved November 28, 2014.
^ Burnett, John (2006). Maya Homeland. Large Oil Field Is Found
in Belize; the Angling Begins, 4 January 2007.
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