The government of Belize fully realizes the importance of ensuring a healthy investment climate in order to attract investments by both local and foreign investors. Foreign investments are welcomed and normally encouraged for all projects which result in increased production, domestic income, employment opportunities, foreign exchange earnings and savings (the Belizean currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 2 to 1), diversification of the economic base, and the transfer of technology and skills.
The government believes that a dynamic and harmonious partnership between the public and the private sectors will provide an era with great economic opportunities. The government recognizes the absolute need for the private sector, and is committed to supporting a socially just market economy that stimulates and rewards initiative, efficiency, competitiveness, productivity, and innovation.
A positive role for the public sector is essential. Its involvement is enlightened, fair and sustained, and will continue to create and maintain a stable environment for enterprises. The public sector will coordinate and stimulate development, reduce bureaucratic delays, and provide the requisite physical and social infrastructure. Foreign investment should involve job creation, transfer of appropriate technology and skills, infusion of foreign financial resources, and transfer of adequate managerial skills into Belize.
Foreign investment is particularly welcome when it:
- Contributes to employment expansion and improvement of Belizean talent and skills
- Produces for export markets, and creates or penetrates new markets
- Saves and earns foreign exchange, and engages in import substitution
- Utilizes indigenous raw materials
- Engages in environmentally sound projects that make technology advances and increase the capital stock of the nation
The Government welcomes foreign capital in the domestic economy, and supports joint venture and partnership investments whenever possible as the preferred mechanism for the employment of such capital. This is in keeping with the government's declared policy of promoting Belizean involvement in the international economy. However, one hundred percent foreign ownership of an enterprise is allowed, and there are no regulations restricting takeovers or mergers.
Belizean laws allow for the following business ownership:
- Private Companies
- Joint Ventures and Cooperatives
- Partnerships - Sole Proprietorships
- Public Investment Companies
- International Business Companies
The need to accelerate the creation of productive employment is fully recognized. The Government will permit the importation of highly skilled personnel to complement the Belizean labor force, provided that appropriate training programs for nationals are established. It will also emphasize that a national counterpart be assigned to every foreign skilled personnel employed by the company.
Qualified Retired Persons Programme
All retired persons over 45 years of age can qualify for the following incentives, provided they can demonstrate permanent and consistent income from investments, pensions, or any other form of retirement benefit:
- All income and receipts are tax exempt
- All personal effects are exempt from import duties and taxes while establishing initial residence in Belize
- The ability to conduct business from within Belize if the business activities are carried out mainly outside of the country and are not conducted with Belizeans.