Belize Military, Economy and Transportation

Belize Military


Economic overview: A modest economy (mostly private enterprise) based on agriculture, agro-processing and trade, with tourism and construction also gaining importance. Sugar, the main product of the agro-industrial sector, accounts for about half of exports, while the cultivation of bananas employs the largest number of workers. The government’s austerity program led to an economic contraction in 1997, which continued into 1998. The trade deficit widened mainly as a result of lower export prices for sugar and bananas. The tourism and construction sectors of the economy strengthened their position in early 1999.┬áSee to know more about Belize Economics and Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $ 790 million (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 4% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $3,200 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 18%; industry: 24%; services: 58% (2000).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 33% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 2% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 71,000 people; note: there is a shortage of skilled labor and technical staff (1997 est.).
Employment structure: agriculture 38%, industry 32%, services 30% (1994).
Unemployment rate: 12.8% (1999).
Budget: revenues: $157 million; expenditures: $279 million, including capital investment j not available (1999 est.).
Spheres of economy: clothing production, food industry, tourism, construction.
Growth in industrial production: 4.6% (1999).
Electricity generation: 185 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 56.76%; hydropower: 43.24%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 172.1 million kWh] (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: bananas, coca, citrus fruits, sugarcane; lumber; fish, farmed shrimp.
Exports: $235.7 million (free on board, 2000 est.)
Export items: sugar, bananas, citrus fruits, clothing, fish products, molasses, j timber.
Export partners: US 42%, UK 33%, EU 12%, CARICOM 4.8%, Canada 2%, Mexico 1% (1999).
Imports: $413 million (s.i.f., 2000 est.).
Imports: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, foodstuffs, fuels, chemicals, medicines.
Import partners: US 58%, Mexico 12%, UK 5%, EU 5%, Central America 5%, CARICOM 5% (1998).
External debt: $338 million (1998) Recipient of economic assistance: no data.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Bepiza dollar.
Currency code: BZD.
Exchange rate: BZD/USD – 2.0000 (fixed exchange rate).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 31,000 (1997).
Mobile cellular telephones: 3023 (1997).
Telephone system: above average; domestic: trunk network, mainly based on microwave radio relay; international: satellite earth station 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM -1, FM -12, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 133,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997).
TVs: 41,000 (1997).
Internet country code: bz
Internet service providers: 2 (2000).
Number of users: 12,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 2,872 km; coated: 488 km; unpaved: 2,384 km (1998 est.).
Waterways: 825 km of riverways are used by small craft; navigable depending on the season.
Ports and harbors: Belize, Big Creek, Corozal, Punta Gorda.
Merchant navy: in total: 402 vessels (of 1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 1,575,851 gross register tons / 2,241,731 long tons of carrying capacity; ships of various types: bulk carriers – 27, cargo ships – 265, chemical tankers – 6, combined ore and oil carriers – 1, container ships – 14, passenger ships – 1, cargo-passenger ships – 2, oil tankers – 56, ships refrigerators – 18, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles – 7, coastal passenger ships – 1, specialized tankers – 1, cargo ships for the transport of vehicles – 3; note: includes foreign ships registered here for flag of convenience reasons: Cuba 1, USA 1, Singapore 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 44 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 4; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1; from 914 to 1523 m:1; less than 914 m: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 40; from 2438 to 3047 m: 1; from 914 to 1523 m: 10; less than 914 m: 29 (2000 est.).

Armed Forces

Branches of the armed forces: Belize Defense Forces (includes ground forces, naval wing, air wing, volunteer guards), Belize National Police.
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 62,698 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 37,174 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: men: 2,847 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $17M (FY98-99)
Military spending as part of GDP: 2.4% (FY98-99)

International Issues

International issues International disputes: Guatemala periodically makes claims to the territory of southern Belize; in order to avoid illegal seizure of land, both states agreed in 2000 on an “adjacent line”, which is the actual border that is not recognized by Guatemala.
Illicit drugs: cocaine transit point; producer of a small amount of cannabis for the international drug trade; a secondary money laundering center.

Belize Military