Betting on the High Rollers
Belize is looking to diversify away from traditional agricultural exports to manufactures and Internet-based services. Online gaming could be a lucrative niche.
From colonization to independence, Belize has grown
increasingly dependent on agricultural exports, especially
bananas, sugar and citrus. Preferential export arrangements
with the United States and the European Union deepened this
dependency. With global commodity prices down sharply and the
end to special export agreements fast approaching, Belize is
trying to diversify away from traditional exports. It is
seeking to export profitable and value-added products that can
survive without exclusive trade arrangements, and that are less
vulnerable to the region's climate, especially hurricanes.
Belize is establishing export-processing zones to attract
foreign and local investment. These duty free zones are
industrial parks used to store, manufacture and export
merchandise or services without incurring national taxes. Raw
materials can originate from within the country, as is the case
of shrimp hatching or fishing, or can be imported with no
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