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(i) (i) (i) (i)

139,456 (2012 est.) note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel

LABOUR FORCE BY OCCUPATION Agriculture
Agriculture
(10.2%), industry (18.1%), services (71.7%) (2007 est.)

UNEMPLOYMENT 11.1% (2016)

MAIN INDUSTRIES Garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil

EASE-OF-DOING-BUSINESS RANK 112th (2017)

EXTERNAL

EXPORTS $633 million (2013 est.)

EXPORT GOODS Sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, crude oil

MAIN EXPORT PARTNERS United Kingdom
United Kingdom
30.8% United States
United States
18.7% Nigeria
Nigeria
6.7% Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
4.8% Ireland 4.2% Jamaica
Jamaica
4.2% (2015)

IMPORT GOODS Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, beverages, tobacco

MAIN IMPORT PARTNERS United States
United States
26.6% Mexico
Mexico
11.7% Cuba
Cuba
10.2% Guatemala
Guatemala
9% China
China
7.5% Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
5.6% (2015)

GROSS EXTERNAL DEBT $1.048 billion (December 2013 est.)

PUBLIC FINANCES

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 .

Belize
Belize
has a small, essentially private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, tourism, and services. The cultivation of newly discovered crude oil in the town of Spanish Lookout has presented new prospects and problems for this developing nation. Besides petroleum, Belize's other primary exports are citrus, sugar, and bananas. Belize's trade deficit has been growing, mostly as a result of low export prices for sugar and bananas.

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 pressure. The Belize
Belize
Dollar is fixed to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 2:1.

Domestic industry is limited, constrained by relatively high-cost labour and energy and a small domestic market. Tourism
Tourism
attracts the most foreign direct investment although significant foreign investment is also found in the energy, telecommunications, and agricultural sectors.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Economic sectors

* 2.1 Agriculture
Agriculture
* 2.2 Energy * 2.3 Transport * 2.4 Tourism
Tourism

* 3 Trade * 4 Belize
Belize
International Business Companies * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links

HISTORY

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.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

AGRICULTURE

Further information: Banana
Banana
production in Belize
Belize

Banana
Banana
production accounted for 16 percent of total Belizean exports in 1999.

Citrus fruits are Belize's second most important agricultural crop.

ENERGY

Further information: Energy in Belize
Belize
Agriculture
Agriculture
is a key part of the economy

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, Belize
Belize
has the most expensive electricity in the region. Several capital projects are currently underway. The largest of these is a $15 million rural electrification program to be jointly implemented by the government and Belize
Belize
Electricity
Electricity
Limited (BEL).

TRANSPORT

Further information: Transport in Belize
Belize

Ports in Belize City , Dangriga , and Big Creek handle regularly scheduled shipping from the U.S. and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
although draft is limited to a maximum of 10 feet in Belize City and 15 feet in southern ports. International air service is provided by American Airlines , Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines
, Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
, Southwest Airlines , U.S. Airways , and TACA to gateways in Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas
, Houston, Texas , Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
, Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida
, and San Salvador .

TOURISM

Further information: Tourism
Tourism
in Belize
Belize

A combination of factors—climate, the Belize
Belize
Barrier Reef (longest in the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
), 127 offshore Cayes (islands), excellent fishing , safe waters for boating, scuba diving , and snorkeling , abundant jungle flora and fauna , and numerous Mayan ruins—support the thriving tourism and ecotourism industry. Development costs are high, but the Government of Belize
Belize
has designated tourism as its second development priority after agriculture .

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).

TRADE

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).

Belize
Belize
continues to rely heavily on foreign trade with the United States as its number one trading partner. Total imports in 2000 totaled $446 million while total exports were only $349.9 million. In 2000, the U.S. accounted for 48.5% of Belize's total exports and provided 49.7% of all Belizean imports. Other major trading partners include the European Union
European Union
, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states. Belize
Belize
established a preferential trade agreement with Guatemala
Guatemala
in 2010.

Belize
Belize
aims to stimulate the growth of commercial agriculture through CARICOM. Belizean trade with the rest of the Caribbean is small compared to that with the United States
United States
and Europe. Belize
Belize
is a beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), a U.S. Government program to stimulate investment in Caribbean nations by providing duty-free access to the U.S. market for most Caribbean products.

Significant U.S. private investments in citrus and shrimp farms have been made in Belize
Belize
under CBI. U.S. trade preferences allowing for duty-free re-import of finished apparel cut from U.S. textiles have significantly expanded the apparel industry. EU and UK preferences also have been vital for the expansion and prosperity of the sugar and banana industries.

BELIZE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES

In 1990, Belize
Belize
enacted the International Business Companies Act based on the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
model. In ten years, Belize
Belize
has registered more than 15,000 IBCs. A Belizean IBC is a corporate vehicle for international financial transactions and allows the investor to engage in activities including asset protection, operating bank accounts, brokerage accounts, ship ownership, and commission arrangements.

The IBC legislation was supplemented in 1992 with the enactment of a Trusts Act which provides for both onshore and offshore trusts.

Belize
Belize
IBCs have the following features:

PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATION

* The IBC Act was introduced in 1990 to implement competitive offshore legislation for Belize
Belize
IBCs which was subsequently amended to reflect the changes required to provide efficient Belize
Belize
offshore services.

EFFICIENT INCORPORATION/REGISTRATION

* Belize
Belize
incorporation is very efficient under normal circumstances, a Belize
Belize
IBC can be incorporated in a couple of working days.

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 Belize
Belize
offshore Incorporation do not carry the name or identity of any shareholder or director. The names or identities of these persons do not appear in any public record.

TAXATION IN BELIZE

* According to the IBC Act of 1990, offshore companies are exempted from all taxes.

SEE ALSO

* Belize dollar * Central Bank of Belize
Belize
* Telecommunications in Belize
Belize
* List of Commonwealth of Nations countries by GDP * List of Latin American and Caribbean countries by GDP growth * List of Latin American and Caribbean countries by GDP (nominal) * List of Latin American and Caribbean countries by GDP (PPP)

REFERENCES

* ^ 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 2014. * ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Belize". Doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 2017-01-24. * ^ "Export Partners of Belize". CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook
. 2015. Retrieved 2017-04-05. * ^ "Import Partners of Belize".