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Includes historical data for Belize’s Gross Domestic Product growth, debt-to-GDP ratio and more, as well as information on trade, banking and financial sector leadership.

Economy Driven By Tourism, Hospitality, And Real Estate

With a population of just over 450,000 people, Belize stands as the smallest economy in Central America and the second-smallest by size after El Salvador. Yet, it boasts an exceptionally diverse geography, encompassing 300 kilometers of Caribbean coastline, approximately 450 islands or islets, vast expanses of rainforest, mountains and rivers, and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. International tourism is a significant driver of growth, contributing to around 40% of the economy, while foreign direct investment (FDI), facilitated by a currency pegged to the dollar, is predominantly focused on the hospitality and real estate sectors.

Yet, the over-reliance on tourism has its downsides. Despite the potential in mining, agro-business and trade, institutional weaknesses, regulatory inefficiencies and lack of transparency have hindered the development of a more diverse economic landscape. Further impediments include a fragile banking system, a small domestic market, and susceptibility to climatic events.

Macroeconomy & Sovereign Data

Type of Government Parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capital Belmopan
Sovereign Ratings S&P: B–
Moody’s: B3
Fitch: B
Total Population 460,000
Median Age 26.4
Adult Per Capita Income (PPP) 13,955.42
Total GDP (2023) 3.3 billion

Belize GDP & Economic Overview

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Banking & Finance

Trade & Investment

Total Exports USD 1.6 billion (2023)
Leading Exports Raw Sugar
Fishing Ships
Lobsters And Crawfish
Total Imports USD 357.6 million (2022)
Leading Imports Recreational Boats
Refined Petroleum
Natural Gas
Source: World Integrated Trade Solution

Belize Leading Companies

Atlantic Bank Limited Financials
Belize Telemedia Telecommunication Services
Belize Electricity Utilities
Bowen & Bowen Brewers
The Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) Consumer Staples, Food Products
National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) Energy

Major Trade Partners — Import

United States 36%
China 16%
Mexico 13%
Guatemala 12%
Trinidad and Tobago 2%

Major Trade Partners — Export

United Kingdom 23%
United States 22%
Mexico 8%
Guatemala 7%
Ireland 5%

Data Sources:

IMF World Economic Outlook

UN World Population Prospects

World Inequality Report

S&P Global Ratings


Fitch Ratings

IMF Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS)

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

CIA The World Factbook

World Bank’s World Integrated Trade Solution

Forbes Global 2000