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Belize

“Belize is a parliamentary democracy, a Commonwealth realm, and therefore a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The structure of government is based on the British parliamentary system, and the legal system is modelled on the common law of England. The head of state is Elizabeth II, Queen of Belize. Since the Queen resides in the United Kingdom, she is represented in Belize by the Governor-General. However, the cabinet, led by the Prime Minister of Belize, who is head of government, acting as advisors to the Governor-General,in practice exercise executive authority. Cabinet ministers are members of the majority political party in parliament and usually hold elected seats within it concurrent with their cabinet positions.”

“Belize has a small, mostly privatized enterprise economy that is based primarily on export of petroleum and crude oil, agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction recently assuming greater importance.[42] It has yet to be seen if significant economic expansion will be made by this. To date, oil production equal 3,000 bbl/d (480 m3/d) (2007 est.) and oil exports equal 1,960 bbl/d (312 m3/d) (2006 est.). The country is a producer of industrial minerals.[50] Sugar, the chief crop, accounts for nearly half of exports, while the banana industry is the country's largest employer.[42]

The new government faces important challenges to economic stability. Rapid action to improve tax collection has been promised, but a lack of progress in reining in spending could bring the exchange rate under pressure. The tourist and construction sectors strengthened in early 1999, leading to a preliminary estimate of revived growth at 4%. Infrastructure continues to be a major challenge for the economic development of Belize.[51] Belize has the most expensive electricity in the region. Trade is important and the major trading partners are the United States, Mexico, the European Union, and Central America.[51]

Belize has five commercial banks, of which the largest and oldest is Belize Bank. The other four banks are Heritage Bank, Atlantic Bank, FirstCaribbean International Bank, and Scotiabank (Belize).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belize#Economy, Accessed on 9 April 2013)

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