Belize is a beautiful and independent country located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America. It has an area of approximately 9,000 square miles. From the USA to Belize is an easy 2 hour flight. Direct flights are available to and from Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, New Jersey and San Salvador. Since the recent expansion of Belizeís International Airport, plans are in the near future for direct flights from Europe as well.
Belizeís current population is approximately 300,000 people. Belize has a multi cultural population of friendly and hospitable people.
The country has an estimated population of 250,000 people who are ethnically diverse. Such ethnicities include Creoles, Mestizos, Garinagu, Mayas, Mennonites, East Indians, Chinese, Caucasians and others.
The capital of Belize is Belmopan City, but the major commercial center of the country is Belize City.
Belize has a long history of peace, stability and democracy. It achieved its Independence from England in September 1981. The country is governed by the Prime Minister along with his Cabinet Ministers who are responsible for the countryís administration whom are elected every 5 years.
Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth, The United Nations, The Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community and the newly formed Association of Caribbean States among other well-known international organizations.
The laws of Belize, its court system, contract and commercial laws are derived from English common law supplemented by local legislation.
BUSINESS AND THE ECONOMY
As of March 2008 there has been a change in the Belize Government which is now committed in promoting economic development through investment, entrepreneurial development, marketing and policy recommendations.
The Belize Government has promoted development by means of mixed economy for infrastructure development as well as for private sector development.
The major income earners for Belize are tourism, agriculture and aquaculture.
The Ministry of Economic Development operates a comprehensive investment scheme which is available to Belizean and foreign investors through its Fiscal Incentive Program, Export Processing Zone and Commercial Free Zone.
CURRENCY AND BANKING
The local currency is the Belize Dollar which is tied to the US dollar with a fixed exchange rate of BZ $2.00 to US $1.00. Both Belize and United States currency are accepted throughout the country. Travelerís checks and credit cards are also widely accepted.
There are five commercial banks, namely: The Alliance Bank of Belize Ltd., Atlantic Bank Ltd. Belize Bank Ltd., First Caribbean International Bank Ltd. formerly Barclays Bank and Scotia Bank of Belize. Presently, there are over five Offshore Banks in Belize with the three largest being Atlantic International Bank Ltd., Belize Bank International Ltd., and Provident Bank & Trust of Belize Ltd., which are located in Belize City. Both the Local and Offshore Banks are regulated by the Central Bank of Belize.
Belize has been transformed into one of the major destinations in the Caribbean and Central America due to its enormous increase in the tourism industry yearly, with tourists arriving by air, land and sea. Belize has also established a tourism village offering duty free, low priced souvenirs and exquisite diamonds.
Telephone, fax, , e-mail and satellite communication to and from Belize are excellent, and direct telephone dialing facilities are available. DSL Service is also available for even quicker internet access.
While English is the official language of Belize, Spanish is also widely spoken.
REASONS FOR VISITING BELIZE: