WELCOME TO BELIZE – The Gateway to the Caribbean
Belize is a peaceful, democratic and English speaking country located south of Mexico and east of Guatemala on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Offshore its 174 mile coast lies the second largest barrier reef in the world, dotted with more than 400 small islands or cayes. With an area of 22,966 km2 (8,866m2), Belize is home to over 450,000 people in a unique blend of ten diverse cultures including the Creole, Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo Mennonite and more…
Belizeans .. (Who we are)…
- Belize has an open, private sector led economy. Longstanding agricultural and fisheries exports include bananas, sugar cane, citrus and seafood with a more recent increase in services such as Business Process Outsourcing. Since the early 2000’s nature-based adventure and cultural tourism have grown to represent 40% of GDP and are the largest foreign exchange earner.
- 60% of Belize’s land is under forest cover with 37% in protected area status. Offshore, the Belize Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Site with 28% of territorial waters protected. In 2021, Belize’s Blue Bond, an innovative Debt for Nature swap with the Nature Conservancy reduced public debt to 64.1% and materially improved the prospects for marine protection and sustainable economic livelihoods. These have led to the launch of Belize’s Blue Economic Policy & Strategy alongside the Blue Maritime Economy plan.
- Reforms to improve the efficiency of domestic and foreign direct investment have included:
- Implementing an e-government strategy to digitalise land and business registries and the process to establish a business.
- Introducing tax reforms that simplify the business tax regime,
- Introducing legislation to improve investor protections, conditions for mergers and acquisitions and, fair competition,
- Implementing a legal framework for the registration of geographic indicators for Belize,
- Developing Arbitration and Dispute Resolution mechanisms,
- Implementing a legal framework for the creation and trading of Carbon Credits,
- Reforming the business incentives framework to better reward innovation.
Belize has established a solid foundation for sustainable development initiatives and is committed to growth and development with a focus on the Green, Blue and Orange Economy. We are happy to share our experience with the world while taking an active role in the global arena in response to climate change. Innovative investment is warmly welcomed – inclusive of blended financing initiatives.
The Government of Belize welcomes investment in the following priority areas and is committed to the development of the necessary support infrastructure and capacity building of the Belizean workforce:
- Tourism – focusing on nature and culture based tourism; leisure and entertainment; cruise, sun and beach and, nautical tourism
- Business Process Outsourcing beyond call centers to include Information Technology Outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing and professional services (legal, financial, engineering, architecture).
- Transport (Air, Road, Sea, and clean transport technologies)
- Renewable Energy – hydro, solar, wind, waste to energy
- Climate Resilient Agriculture including agro-processing and aqua-mari culture
- Sustainable Forestry (Forest regeneration, tech-driven tree planting, Forest conservation and restoration)
- Light Manufacturing
- Financial Services
- Digital Services and ICTs
Examples of investment opportunities include:
- The Turneffe Atolls, a reserve that lies 50Km off the coast of Belize, which markets a marine reserve tourism experience while actively protecting the coral reef and the expansive biodiversity within its borders. Click here to learn more about the Turneffe Atolls and the work of TASA.
- BAHAR Bio-Tech Limited (BBTECH) is a Belize based DPA (Designated Processing Area) status company currently constructing a state- of-the-art Plant Tissue Culture (PTC) unit in Belize to anchor its agribusiness and bioenergy focus. See full investment profile below.
- Strategically located:
- the Caribbean gateway to Central America and is a convenient hub for market access to both regions.
- Small but skilled labour:
- friendly, well educated, productive workforce where 100% of the workforce is English speaking with 60% bilingual.
- Attractive investment incentives and a friendly tax regime:
- Designated Processing Areas attract investments to boost production for export markets.
- Businesses operating in our Commercial Free Zones are exempt from taxes for ten years.
- The Cybercrime Act of 2020 and the Data Protection Act of 2021 are now in force. The DPA is partially aligned with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Intellectual Property Rights are registered and enforced in Belize.
- Tax based incentives include tax deferments, tax reductions, access to land and capital, and preferential access to stated government concessions.
- Pro-Business Environment
- No restrictions on foreign ownership and control of companies.
- A stable currency with the Belize dollar pegged to the US dollar at a fixed exchange rate of BZ $2.00 to US $1.00.
- Long standing, democratic traditions, English Common Law legal system and an independent judiciary.
- We invite you to visit Belize and see what we have on offer.
- Getting started is easy. We have an export help desk and warm and friendly people to support and help you throughout the process …
- The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is the country’s investment and promotion agency (IPA). It can tell you all you need to know about investing in Belize, and it provides after care support to ensure the experience meets your expectations.
- The Investment Policy and Compliance Unit (IPCU) supports BELTRAIDE and works to continuously improve the local investment climate.
- The Economic Development Council (EDC) works to advance public sector reforms to promote private sector development and to inform policies for growth and development.
- There are also several business associations which can suggest local partners, and provide advisory services and support: