Before you start diving into Belize Business and its offshore advantage, you should know some facts about this island. Belize is a small country located in Central America. Mexico boards it to the north, Guatemala to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. During the colonial period, initially, Belize was known as Honduras, but it was later separated from the southern part, creating two countries, namely Honduras and Belize.
Business In Belize my Tip
The country is famous due to its biodiversity and distinctive ecosystem. Every year thousands of tourists visit Belize due to its richness in wildlife, caves, and various flora and fauna spices.
Belize had several negotiations with the government of Britain, hence gaining its independence on September 21, 1981. The capital city of Belize is known as Belmopan, which is 80 kilometers from Belize City. The country changed its capital in 1961 after massive destruction from hurricane Hattie storms that claimed more than 400 lives. The government considered Belmopan the capital city because it is far from the sea to avoid further destruction should such a storm reoccur.
The following are facts about Belize
- It sits on an area of about 22,966 square km
- As of 2018, the country had a population of 383,071 people
- The highest percentage of people live in Belize City, which is the largest town in the country
- The official language is English
- Its capital city is Belmopan
- The official currency is known as the Belize dollar
The Belize Islands
Despite the small size, Belize has a lot to offer both to locals and foreigners. The country takes pride in having stunning cays, rich vegetation, and long coral reefs. The country is well known to be the home of over two hundred beautiful islands, which include; Silk Caye, Groves Leave Atoll, South Water Caye, Golfs Caye, St. George Caye, Laughing Bird Caye, Half-Moon Caye, Caulker, And Ambergris Caye, among others.
The people of Belize
Initially, Belize was inhabited by Maya people. However, after colonization, other communities joined them. The Kriols account for about 21 percent of the population in Belize. Seventy percent of Kriol’s people are African native and were brought in as slaves in the 19th century. Seventy-one percent of the same people are from the Garinagu community, of which 75 percent of them are from sub-Saharan Africa, 20 percent are the Arawak, and 4 percent of the Garinagu.
There are different languages spoken in Belize — however, their official language is English. In Central America, Belize is the only country with its official language as English, which is why it is known as the English speaking country. A bigger number of Belize populations speak the Kriol and Garinagu languages; however, smaller communities talk in Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.
The highest percentage of people are Christian, which is the dominant religion in Belize — other small religions include the Muslims and Hindus. The population of Belize has higher numbers of women and children as compared to men. Most of these people live in Belize capital. The country’s population is likely to increase soon since the birth rate is high, and the death rate is low.
The infrastructure in Belize
The infrastructure includes both transportation and telecommunication. Buses and taxis are the primary mode of transport that connect people from one place to another. Buses are the easiest means of transport and offer a spectacular view of the Belize people’s local culture.
Other modes of transport include water taxis, which most people use, especially when connecting from one island to another. If you want to glance at Belize country, the air is considered the fastest and most convenient transport mode. Currently, the country does not offer rail transport — however, the government is constructing one. Most people in the land use mobile phones, but they all have one service provider known as the BTL. Utilities such as water and electricity are readily available to all citizens in Belize.
The government of Belize
Belize is a member of commonwealth nations. The country takes pride in having a stable democratic government. The state is headed by Queen Elizabeth, who is represented by Governor-General in the country. The head of the government is the prime minister, who is appointed by the Governor-General. Everyone is eligible to become the prime minister. He or she must be a citizen of Belize country and must be a leader who belongs to a political party with most house members.
To be an eligible voter, you should be a Belize citizen who is over twenty-one years and above, and he or she must be residing in the country. Belize has two main political parties – The United Democratic Party, which is supported by most people in the country, and the People United Party. The national assembly comprises two houses: the senate appointed, and the House of Representatives elected.
The education system in Belize
Every child between the ages of four to fourteen, must attend school. Any parent who fails to take their child to school is punishable by law and receives a fine of more than $100. The only children exempted from attending school are those with disabilities. Education at the primary level is not wholly free because parents have to cater for books and uniforms.
English is the primary language used to teach in all the schools all over the country. Since Belize was a British colony, it is positively influenced by the country’s education system. In this case, they use the British Model. The government offers three education levels: the primary level that lasts for eight years, secondary, four years, and tertiary education. Most students prefer to further their higher education outside the country.
Safety and security in Belize
You do not have to worry about your safety while in Belize. However, it is essential for everyone, whether you are a tourist or a resident to observe safety precautions to protect yourself as well as your belongings. There are several cases reported concerning robbery and theft. For this reason, one must not walk in isolated areas, especially during the night. Most pickpockets usually target tourist, so if you are a foreigner, make sure that valuable are safe.
Do not wear your flashy items since robbers usually target such things. If you plan to spend your day in the beach or any other place, never leave your items unattended. And if you are staying in a hotel, it is better you put them in a safe and that way, you will be sure that your things are in good hands.
The Economy of Belize
Belize is a small developing country with a GDP of $1.871 billion per capita as of 2018. The island country relies on agriculture, tourism, and service industries to generate revenues. Since 2015, Belize has recorded a 6.7 percent increase in GDP and is expected to increase further by 4 percent come 2022.
The following are the major economic activities of Belize:
Agriculture is one of the main economic activities that boost the economy of Belize. It contributes over 20 percent of the country’s GDP and creates employment for around twenty-five percent of the Belize citizens and residents. The main crops produced for export include corn, citrus, bananas, and sugarcane, among others.
Belize is home to different spices of flora and fauna, wildlife, and beautiful white beaches, as stated earlier. This natural feature attracts numerous tourists every year to the country. The tourism sector contributes over seventeen percent of countries GDP. The good news is that the sector is growing faster and gradually, hence creating job opportunities for over 40 percent of the population.
Imports and exports
Export activities contribute over $457.5 million to the country. Belize exports agricultural products such as sugar, bananas, citrus, wood, fish, and crude oil to the United Kingdom, United States, Jamaica, Italy, and the Netherlands. When it comes to imports, Belize gets to import more than it exports goods out there. Every year the country imports commodities worth $ 845.9 million. The main products imported include; machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical, and tobacco, among others
The service sector
The service sector is one of the largest in Belize. The industry contributes more than sixty-three percent of its GDP, hence offering employment to a large population. Since the country gained its independence in 1981, the service sector, especially tourism has experienced a steady growth.
Doing Businesses in Belize
Belize is a small country but its economy is growing faster, providing numerous business opportunities to all who wish to open and run businesses. The government encourages more investors, both local and foreigners, to invest in the country by offering different incentives.
The following few thriving economic sectors in Belize
- Service provider
- Fitness trainers
Due to the booming economy of Belize, most foreigners wish to have a business in the country. The government came up with the Belize International Business Act, intending to protect all the country’s offshore companies. Any foreigner who dreams of having a business in Belize can do so without any difficulties; moreover, the government has freed all the offshore businesses’ taxes. The country’s strategic position, good communication, transport, and peaceful political stability make Belize a perfect place for a foreigner to set up a thriving business.
In a nutshell, Belize is a beautiful country with a lot of untapped potentials. Any foreigner who wishes to invest in it has an excellent opportunity to do so. The beautiful island, long coral leaves, spectacular beaches, and wildlife make it perfect as a tourist destination as well.