Capital of country Belmopan
Population: 347,369 (2015)
Official Language: English
GDP growth (%): 3.4% (2014)
GDP per capita: US $ 8,200 (2014)
Inflation: 0.9% (2014)
Unemployment: 12.9% (2004)
 Labor force: 140,160 (2010)
Major Exports: Crude oil, sugar, bananas, citrus concentrate, farmed shrimp, papayas
Major Imports: Fuel and oils, electricity, machinery and transport equipment, processedfoods, chemicals, consumer goods
Key Productive sectors: Tourism, agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and water supply, construction
Major trading partners:  U.S.A., United Kingdom, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad
Government (type): Parliamentary democracy based on Westminster model
Governor-General: Sir Colville Young Sr.
Prime Minister/President: Hon. Dean Barrow
Opposition leader: Hon. Francis Fonseca
Economy

Belize has an open economy with few restrictions to imports or in the conducting of business. The tourism industry has become the fastest growing and most important industry with regards to its contribution to GDP. Between 2005 and 2010, tourist expenditure increased from US $ 208 million to US $ 259.3 million. Petroleum is the second largest earner of foreign exchange and is the most important of the domestic exports. In 2006, petroleum exports were US $40.6 million but by 2010 this had increased to US$ 103.1 million. Traditional agricultural exports including citrus, sugar and bananas decreased slightly from US $161.9 million to US $160 million between 2008 and 2010.

 

Culture

There are a number of distinct cultures in Belize but the country is in the process of defining a national culture. A brief analysis of population shows that there are a number of ethnicities who call Belize their home. These include three indigenous Maya groups (Q’echi, Mopan and Yucatec), Europeans of English and Scottish ancestry, Creoles (Mixture of African and European), Garinagu (Of Carib and African parentage), Mestizos (European mixed with indigenous Maya), East Indians, West Indians, Chinese and Mennonites. Belize is known for its vibrant mixing of races and

 

Ethnic group Population
Asian 0.9 %
Caucasian 1.0 %
Creole 25 %
East Indian 2.3 %
Garifuna 4.6 %
Lebanese 0.1 %
Maya 10.6 %
Mennonite 3.6 %
Mestizo 34 %
Other 17.9 %

 

Table 1: The breakdown of Belize’s population by ethnicity

 

Education

The system of education in Belize is modeled off the Caribbean system and is delivered by a church state hybrid The churches invest in the educational infrastructure while the Government pays the salaries of teachers. Education is mandatory between the ages of 4-11 and the country has a literacy rate of 76.9%.

 

Labour Standards

Belize has been a member of the International Labor Organization since November of 1981 and has ratified 49 ILO conventions including the eight Fundamental Minimum wage is US $1.55/hour for regular workers and US $1.25/hour for agricultural workers. The minimum age to work is 14 years.

 

Media

(list key media houses for news on your country – newspaper, radio, with website information if possible)

Love FM Radio http://www.lovefm.com/
Wave Radio Radio
Love TV Television http://www.lovetv.com.bz/news/
Plus TV Television http://www.plustvbelize.com/
Channel 5 Belize Television http://edition.channel5belize.com/
7 News Belize Television http://www.7newsbelize.com/
Amandala Newspaper http://www.amandala.com.bz/
KREM Radio Radio http://www.krembz.com/
KREM TV Televison
The Reporter Newspaper http://www.reporter.bz/
The Guardian Newspaper http://www.guardian.bz/
The Belize Times Newspaper http://www.belizetimes.bz/

 

Targeted Sectors for Investment

Tourism and Leisure, Agribusiness and Light Manufacturing, Information Technology Enabled Service (BPO, Includes Financial Services), Energy and

 

Targeted sectors for Export

Agroprocessing, aquaculture, environmental goods, tourism, information and communication