5 Aspects of the Belize Economy

June 12 09:22 2019 Print This Article

Belize has a small and mostly private enterprise economy. It is primarily based on tourism, agriculture and services. Despite having the third highest per-capita income in Central America, there is a huge income disparity between the rich and poor. Narrowing the gap and increasing equality of income is a high point of interest for the government. High unemployment rates are also a major concern.

Sports

Despite having very little financial backing from the government, sports are a big part of Belizean culture. Many people engage in water related sport activities as a hobby, especially since more tourists started arriving, introducing the people from Belize with various Western water sports. Soccer is the main spectator sport, but boxing, basketball, track and field, soft-ball, and others are also popular. Sportsbetting in Belize is very popular. One of the sites people like to use is sport.netbet.ng.

Tourism

Due to the ideal geographical location and climate, tourism is one of the main industries in Belize, and the fastest growing one. This growth has positively impacted all other aspects of the economy. In 2012, Belize welcomed over 1,000,000 tourists for the first time in recorded history. Currently, over 25% of the population is employed within this industry.

Tanning on the beautiful sandy beaches, fishing, scuba diving, walking through the vast jungle flora and fauna and exploring numerous Maya ruins are one of the many activities you can enjoy. 2018 was an outstanding and record-breaking year for tourism. In September alone, over 21,000 overnight visitors arrived in Belize.

Agriculture

The Belize government has set agriculture as their number one priority for growth. It currently employs over one fifth of the population, accounting for around 22% of the GDP. Severe droughts have negatively impacted crops growth in the region. Belize has remained as the only country in CARICOM to export food, and it’s very likely that it will become the only one in all of Central America as well. CARICOM has a free-trade agreement with the EU, which makes agricultural demand in Belize limitless.

Sugar is the main exporting product, accounting for around 50% of domestic export revenues. It is being produced in the north of the country and is mainly being exported to the United States and EU. The second largest agricultural export is fruit. Belize is rich with bananas, oranges and grapefruits which are mostly grown in the Stann Creek Valley. Banana production is the most significant, however, the export of bananas has recently dropped.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing such as food products, textiles, and fertilizers accounts for one-eighth of the GNP. In late 20th Century, the Belize government attempted to emphasize import substitution to promote industrial development. However, the economy is so deeply dependant of exports that this eventually failed. Since then, many factories have opened for all kind of purposes such as footwear and textile, tobacco, alcohol, sugar refineries etc.

Transportation

Agricultural and forest produce is mainly transported by road, but rivers are also used. The road network is fairly good, linking all major cities with smaller towns and villages.

The main port is Belize City but it doesn’t have modern facilities which causes vessels with more than the allowed cargo limit to have to anchor more than a mile offshore. Barges are used for sugar export, while tenders for transporting passengers to and from cruise ships. The Commerce Bight port, handles exports from the Stann Creek district, while a port at Big Creek is used for banana exports.