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Belize City, weather roads, bauxite, coral reef, dried fruit

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>  Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

Belizeís main economic resource is its farmable land, although only 3 percent of the total land area is actually under cultivation. Belize also has valuable forests, which originally drew British settlers to the land. Forestry was the major economic activity until agriculture surpassed it during the 1960s. Declining world prices for timber and depletion of forest resources forced the country to diversify its economy. Today, the fastest-growing sector of the economy is foreign tourism.

Manufacturing and Mining

The major manufacturing industries in Belize are food-processing and clothing. Food-processing plants produce sugar, orange and grapefruit juice concentrates, dried fruit, and hot-pepper sauces for export. Belize has some mineral resources, including gold and bauxite, but they are not being mined.


Many American tourists are drawn to Belize because it is an English-speaking country in Latin America with a stable government. Mayan ruins in the north of the country constitute a major tourist attraction. Other attractions are the rainforests, wildlife, and beaches along the Caribbean. Snorkeling, fishing, and scuba diving are popular in the coral reef that fringes the shoreline.


A road network of 2,872 km (1,785 mi) links the major urban centers in Belize, but some areas remain inaccessible, especially in the south. All-weather roads connect Belize City with Guatemala and Mexico. An international airport serves Belize City.

Currency and Trade

The unit of currency is the Belize dollar (2 Belize dollars equal U.S.$1; 2006 fixed rate).

Belizeís major trading partner is the United States. The United Kingdom is an important purchaser of the countryís exports. In 2003 exports earned $203 million, and imports cost $396 million. The governmentís budget included $124 million in revenue and $140.6 million in expenditure in 1997.

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