September 1, 2001
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 dut
Belize is looking to diversify away from traditional agricultural exports to manufactures and Internet-based services. Online gaming could be a lucrative niche.