Belize (formerly British Honduras until the name was changed in 1973) is an independent, English speaking nation located in central America.
In 1990, Belize passed an International Business Companies Act and has since added and amended legislation to maintain a modern, safe and clean financial services industry. This sector has matured over the years and today has some of the most modern instruments for asset protection, investment banking, Trusts, insurance and mutual funds. A professional Central Bank staff, a Financial Services Commission and a pro-active Government combine efforts for efficiency, service and the necessary secrecy and diligence.
Location: East Coast of Central America, bounded on the North by Mexico, on the South and West by Guatemala, and on the East by the Caribbean Sea
Capital and Major City & Towns: (Capital) Belmopan; (City) Belize City, (Towns) San Ignacio, Corozal, Orange Walk, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, San Pedro.
Official Language: English, however, Spanish is spoken.
Total Population: Approximately 243,000
Land Area: 22,923 km. Sq. or 8,867 sq. miles
Form of Government: Democratic
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
Governor-General: Sir Colville N. Young
Governing Party: Peoples United Party 1998 - present
Independence Day: September 21, 1981.
Currrency: Belize dollar (Bz$)
Exchange Rate: US$1=Bz$2.00
Time zone: EST -1; GMT - 6
Major Ports: Belize City, Big Creek and Dangriga.
Major International Airport:
Phillip S W Goldson International, 8 miles WNW of Belize City.
Entry Requirements: A valid passport is required of all visitors. Citizens of the United Kingdom, some Commonwealth countries, the European Union and the USA are not required to have a visa, provided they have a return ticket.
Business Hours: Government hours: 8:00 am - Noon, 1:00 pm - 5:00pm (4:30 on Fridays) Banking: Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 am - 1:00 pm. Fri. 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
Chief Products: The economy of Belize is based on tourism, finance and agricultural development but in recent years there has been a resurgence in forestry. The main exports are sugar, citrus, bananas, fish products (mainly lobster), timber and garments.
Telecommunications: All automatic systems: Direct dialing with major countries in the world. Broadband, Telexes, faxes, cellular, email and internet are also readily available.