Archive for October, 2006

Belize Economy

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America that was a British colony known as British Honduras for more than a century. It became an independent state in 1981.

The small, essentially private enterprise economy of Belize is based mainly on agriculture, agro-related industry, merchandising, tourism and construction. Recent discoveries of petroleum deposits in the Cayo District and possibly in the Toledo District have crucially changed previously untapped mining and manufacturing capabilities of Belize.

Proximity to the US market and its country’s historically close ties to the UK as well as land, vast forest, and water resources can be considered to be main strengths of the Belizean economy.

Due to the ruling government’s expansionary monetary and fiscal policies in 1998, in 1999 Belize’s GDP showed growth of 6,4% and in 2000 – of 10,8%. Due to the global slowdown, severe hurricane damage and the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on tourism and agriculture, in 2001 growth decreased to 3%. In 2005 it was 3,8%.

Belize’s trade deficit and foreign debt are still expanding. The present key short-term objective is the reducing poverty with the help of international donors.