Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a scenically beautiful, independent country located on the Caribbean seaboard of Central America. It has an area of approximately 23,026 sq. km and is bounded by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. The administrative capital is Belmopan, but the major commercial centre is Belize City, which is located on the eastern coast close to the major international airport.
The total population of Belize is around 200,000 of which some 60,000 live in Belize City. Much of the country’s population is ethnically diverse and includes descendants of the original Mayan culture and people of Caribbean, Caucasian, Chinese and East Indian descent.
Belize has a long history of peace, stability and democracy. It became a British Crown Colony in 1862 and achieved complete self-rule in 1981. Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. Executive authority is exercised by the Cabinet under the leadership of the Prime Minister, subject to approval by a 28 member Senate with the majority appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
There are two main political parties; both parties are committed to the economic development of the country and the encouragement of overseas investment.
Infrastructure and Economy
Belize’s unspoiled environment with cays and barrier reef make it a popular destination for eco-tourists, whilst its clear unpolluted waters are excellent for swimming, diving, fishing and other aqua sports. The country also offers a unique mix of unspoiled woodlands, caves, rivers, mountains, waterfalls and jungle, in addition to a wealth of Mayan archaeological sites. There are also forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, marine resort areas and the world¡¦s only jaguar reserve. Major exports are sugar, bananas, citrus products, fishery products, garments and timber and wood products. The offshore finance industry is generating an increasing proportion of national income.
The official and spoken language is English.
The Belize Dollar (BZ$).
Offshore activities are exempted from exchange control.
Type of Law
Common Law. Based on English Company Law.
International Business Companies Act, 1990 – International Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 1995
Belize International Business Company Revised ACT 2000.