Economy in Belize
Belize’s economic past was an amalgamation of colonialism hinged with the popular and affluent deforestation of the country’s precious forests for the exportation of logwood, mahogany and chicle. Europe was providing high demand for dyes and other minerals that the diverse jungles of this tiny, remote country could provide. Today, with the dawn of Independence almost three decades ago, and the newfound wave of environmental awareness, much of Belize’s pristine forests have been declared protected areas. The country is now experiencing an economic boost with its primary sources of income being agriculture and a growing tourism industry.
Employing approximately one-third of the working population, the agricultural industry has become enmeshed into the lives of many Belizeans, cultivating this trade into a distinct culture and way of life. Traditional agricultural products include, bananas, citrus, cocoa, sugarcane, lobster and fish. Today farmers are diversifying with the changing market trends and investing in the cultivation of shrimp, special fish species like the tilapia and less staple fruits like papayas and cashews.
Although developmental costs are extremely high in Belize, the government has declared the tourism industry a high priority. With the beautiful and pristine natural resources that thrive in this country, tourism seems a viable path to improve the economy and provide a better standard of living for all Belizeans.
Belize is a peaceful democratic country consisting of two major political parties. These are the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP). Currently in office is the PUP with Prime Minister Said Musa leading the country. Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations and is affiliated with countless international organizations.