Belize economy, like that of many developing countries faces the struggles of finding new avenues for both export and domestic use. Although the country has many areas which contribute to the economy none of them stand out like the agricultural sector which is the country’s export to date. Tourism, offshore services are other contributing areas to the Belize economy. Belize has a population of 330,000 which comprises of many cultures and groups of people.
Belize currency is the Belize Dollar (BZ); the exchange rate for many years has been BZ$2 to US$1. Belize has a number of commercial and offshore banks providing banking services to residents and non residents alike. The Belize banks are regulated by the Belize Central Bank. Offshore banks are not allowed to offer banking services to residents of Belize.
Agricultural activities which include the production of bananas and citrus fruits earn a large percentage of the foreign earnings. The fishing industry also attributes to this as Belize exports a number of fish products including; lobster, conch, shark, smoked fish and finfish among others. The government of Belize has analysed the fisheries sector and found that there are many benefits to be derived from fishing in Belize for both commercial and local use, and as a result, are looking for ways to develop and expand this industry. The majority of Belize’s agricultural export goes to the United States.
In order to increase revenue to the country Belize introduced its offshore companies act in 1990 with positive results. The number of Belize offshore companies registered in the first ten (10) years was staggering and number is still increasing. Belize offshore companies have enjoyed success because this one of the most progressive offshore jurisdictions, with modern legislation providing many benefits for offshore companies. A Belize company is a tax free entity paying no taxes in Belize on earnings abroad. Incorporation of Belize offshore companies is easy to carry out and the offshore company can be incorporated with a single individual. To further develop its offshore services and financial services sector Belize ha also introduced Belize offshore trusts, Belize offshore foundations and Belize offshore banking. Tourism is Belize’s next big foreign exchange earner after agriculture. The country has a lot to offer including Mayan ruins, rainforests, the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and other attractions. Belize is well known for snorkelling and scuba diving and its lovely beaches. Accommodations in Belize are provided by many excellent hotels and resorts. Ecotourism is in demand now and Belize promotes ecotourism as the country has lots of natural attractions and rain forests.
Although Belize has the highest rate for electricity in the region the rest of the country’s infrastructure is up to standards. Telecommunication development is one the rise and measures are in place to develop the country’s road system. Persons visiting Belize can use the International airport bear Belize City. Highways connect Belize to its neighbours Mexico and Guatemala.