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FDI in Figures

FDI inflows in Belize have been volatile and low for several years. According to the UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2023, FDI inflows increased from USD 125 million in 2021 to USD 134 million in 2022. At the end of the period, the total stock of FDI was estimated at USD 2.67 billion, around 90.6% of the country’s GDP. Tourism attracts most FDI due to the country's geographical position in the Gulf of Honduras and the development of ecotourism. Brazil, the U.S., Guatemala and Central American countries are Belize’s primary investors. The government encourages investment in agriculture, agro-processing, aquaculture, light manufacturing, food processing and packaging, tourism, tourism-related industries, business process outsourcing (BPOs), and renewable energy. Export-oriented businesses operating in less developed areas also receive preferential treatment.

Belize encourages foreign investment, perceived as a way to relieve fiscal pressure and diversify its economy. In 2022, the government introduced a National Investment Policy and Strategy (NIPS) along with the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise Strategy to enhance the structure for both local and international investment. In Belize, there are generally no restrictions on foreign ownership and control of companies; however, foreign investments need to be registered with the CBB and comply with the Exchange Control Act and associated regulations. The Companies Act underwent a revamp in 2022, mandating all companies, whether local or international, to re-register with the Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry. According to the new act, companies with foreign interests, including shareholders, must register through an agent. Furthermore, overseas companies were reclassified as "foreign companies," subject to specific provisions applicable only to them, such as maintaining a registered office and having a registered agent, as well as keeping certain documents and records in Belize. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) is the investment and export promotion agency, and it promotes FDI through a series of incentive packages. The country features a relatively qualified working force, political stability, its proximity with the U.S. and being anglophone. However, Belize is a small market, lacking competitiveness with other Central American countries due to a high cost of doing business there. Investors also complain about the lack of transparency, land insecurity, red tape, and corruption. The country must improve access to credit, protect minority investors, and resolve insolvency to become a more attractive investment opportunity. The EU listed Belize as a "non-cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes" due to not meeting good practice standards. Belize ranks 73rd out of 184 countries on the latest Index of Economic Freedom.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Belize Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 3.0 4.1 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 4.0 5.2 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 6.7 9.0 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action.

Foreign Direct Investment 202020212022
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 76125134
FDI Stock (million USD) 2,409.32,537.82,671.3
Number of Greenfield Investments*
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 084

Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data

Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.


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Tax Rates

General sales tax (GST)
12.5% (standard rate of the General Sales Tax).

Zero-rated items include: exported goods and services; some food items for human consumption, water supply (other than bottled water) and some medicines and medical supplies for human use; some items and supplies for use in education; some supplies connected with agriculture, livestock, birds and fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

Exempt supplies of goods and services include: some financial services and gambling supply; some supply of goods and services by an educational institution within the meaning of the Education Act; medical, dental, hospital, optical and paramedical services, other than veterinary services and cosmetic surgery; supply of residential accommodation or accommodation in a hotel or similar establishment; public postal services, domestic public transport of passengers, lease of aircraft and maintenance services in connection with the supply of public air transport; international transport of passengers or goods; some supplies of services provided to diplomatic missions, international and regional organizations; goods and services provided to the Government of Belize.

Company Tax
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 0/15%, Interests: 15%, Royalties: 15%.
Bilateral Agreement
Belize and Spain are not bound by a Double Taxation Agreement.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers
USD 4.02 per week per employee. Click here for more info.
Other Domestic Resources
Belize Tax Services
Overview of Belize's tax measures in response to Covid-19
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.

Individual Taxes

Income tax Flat rate of 25%
•    for persons earning below BZD 26,000, personal relief is BZD 25,600
•    for persons earning between BZD 26,000.01 and BZD 27,000, personal relief is BZD 24,600
•    for persons earning between BZD 27,000.01 and BZD 29,000, personal relief is BZD 22,600
•    for persons earning BZD 29,000.01 and over, personal relief is BZD 19,600

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Belize Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 29.0 28.2 10.6 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 147.0 327.5 175.0 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 31.1 46.8 36.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

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Investment Opportunities

Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Inter-American Development Bank, Tenders in South America
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Setting Up a Company
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Belize.
Useful Resources
Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE
Contact the Spanish Embassy.
Contact the Embassy in Spain.

Business Setup Procedures

Setting Up a Company Belize Latin America & Caribbean
Procedures (number) 9.00 8.00
Time (days) 48.00 25.22

Source: Doing Business.


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Latest Update: May 2024

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