Belize is a small, essentially private enterprise economy that is principally based in tourism. Agriculture, the agro-processing industry, merchandising and an emerging oil industry are also important sectors of the economy. Sugar accounts for nearly half of exports, while the banana industry is the country’s largest employer. In recent years, the services sector has overtaken agriculture, fishing and forestry. The country faces development challenges, including high deforestation; economic instability; unemployment; expensive electricity; heavy foreign debt; vulnerability to natural disasters; and weak construction sector. A key trade issue of Belize is the high dependence on tourism from the United States that makes the country vulnerable to downturns in the world economy. Also, they need to diversify the economy with new trading partners and more and better infrastructure.
Based on the ITC 2014-2018 Strategic Approach to the Caribbean Region, ITC will focus on implementing at regional level the recommendations of strategies recently developed by CARICOM for the cultural industries and professional services sectors.