BELIZE’S TRADE STATUS
Belize’s export-reach has reached to over eighty (80) countries in the last five years, from large traditional markets like the UK and the USA, to growing markets like Hong Kong, Egypt and Pakistan, and even on to smaller markets like St Maarten, Aruba and Swaziland. Like in most developing countries, the import trade exceeds the level of export trade due to the level of industrialization and market size in the national economy.
As the graph below indicates, export revenues climbed from BZ $400 Million at the turn of the century and peaked close to BZ $700 Million in 2012, this was supported by existing vibrancies in key industries such as Sugar, Citrus, Bananas, Shrimp and Petroleum. With the gradual waning of Petroleum extraction and production in Shrimps, Bananas and Citrus, export figures have declined to over $500 M in 2015 and slipping even lower in 2016. During that same period import trade has been on a steady growth plane from about $1Billion and peaking at $1.7 Billion in 2015.
A synopsis of Belize’s export trade markets in 2016 indicates the UK and the US have absorbed about 64% of Belize’s goods. Traditionally, these two markets are, and continue to be the most significant import trade partners for Belize. With the decline of Petroleum, Papayas and other key crops, the UK has overtaken the US to be Belize’s biggest importer.
Other growing importing countries are the other EU countries such as: Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, CARICOM member states, and Central America.
Belize’s is still considered a vulnerable economy with a small export basket of Goods. As the chart proves, more than 1/2 of all exports is dependent on two markets: the US and the UK. Along with the other 5 top importers, they are responsible for almost 90% of importation of Belizean goods.