North America

Belize Business

Agriculture

Although almost 40% of the land is suitable for agriculture, only 6% of the land is cultivated land. Nevertheless, agriculture employs approx. 30% of the employed and contributed 15% of GDP. Agriculture represents close to 90% of export earnings. Most important agricultural products are citrus fruits, sugar and bananas. Sugarcane is grown on plantations around Corozal in the far north of the country. Citrus fruits, mostly grapefruit, are grown around Stann Creek. Cocoa, coconuts, peanuts and mangoes are also grown for export. For local consumption, corn, rice, beans, sweet potatoes, yams and vegetables are grown. Some livestock, especially cattle.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Belize

Forestry

Almost 1/3 of the land is covered by forest and timber (mahogany, pine) is an important export. Most of the timber comes from the northern and western parts of the country and floats on the rivers down to the sawmills on the coast.

Fishing

Fishing is carried out by lobster, shrimp and turtles. Exports of lobster and shrimp have slowed due to overfishing.

Industry

The industry is relatively modest and is mainly based on the processing of agricultural products and clothing. The industry employed 17% of the working population in 2000 and contributed 24% of the gross domestic product.

Tourism

Tourism is the country’s second largest industry, and it is part of ecotourism. The country’s distinctive nature, beautiful beaches, good diving opportunities and Mayan ruins are important tourist attractions.

An important source of income is financial contributions sent by emigrated family members, especially in the United States.

Transport and Communications

Communications in the interior of the country are poorly developed. Some of the roads are only navigable during the dry season (Feb-May). River transport is of great importance. The main port city is Belize City, which can take seagoing ships. Belize City International Airport. There are close to 40 airstrips for local traffic. No railroad.

Foreign Trade

According to Countryaah, the trade balance with abroad is negative. The main export goods are sugar, citrus fruits, orange concentrate, bananas, textiles and confectionery. In particular, various industrial products, machinery, petroleum and foodstuffs are introduced. The United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico are the most important trading partners.