Belize- Historical Overview

Belize, with an area of 8,867 sq. miles or 23,000 sq. kilometers and a population of 205,000 inhabitants, is an independent English speaking country in Central America. It has often times been referred to as the bridge between the Caribbean and Central America and remains a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations with Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain as the titular Head of State.

A Prime Minister and Cabinet make up the executive branch, while a 29 member elected House of Representatives and 8 member appointed Senate form a bicameral legislature. The Government of Belize is operated on the principles of parliamentary democracy, based on the Westminster System.

Belize, over the years has been able to develop an economic environment where there is a dynamic working relationship between the public sector and the private sector.

Its exports of goods and services account for more than 50% of GDP. Belize's leading exports of sugar, citrus and bananas are being complemented by the successful development of new products for export such as shrimp, papayas and other tropical fruits. At the same time Government encourages the development of new ways of producing and marketing traditional products. This is in response to its call for economic diversification.

In this regard, Belize has been most successful in securing a share of the eco-tourism and diving markets within the global market for tourism services and to a lesser extent in selling its services to the offshore financial and shipping markets.

Well aware of the impact of changes in the international economy, the Government of Belize will continue to encourage the development of new and innovative products recognizing the uncertainties surrounding the preferential agreements through which Belize markets 80% of its exports.

It is expected that both Belizean and foreign investors will be attracted to its political and economic climate and their investments, particularly in export development activities which will stimulate and enhance the country's economic growth.

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