LEGISLATION AND INVESTMENT INCENTIVES 6.
How does offshore financing works? 10.
The Belizean government is pursuing legislation to enhance its offshore financial status, Belize is one of the fastest growing offshore centers due to its favorable banking regulations, modern legislation and political stability. In fact, Belize had to re-think its former economic policy and concentrate on developing its "Offshore Services Sector" to go hand in hand with tourism and its traditional agricultural and fisheries. .
In August 1996, an offshore banking act was added to the growing legal infrastructure for offshore services. At the same time, a money-laundering (prevention) act was passed to strengthen Belize's offshore services sector. Today, the offshore world is the perfect environment for protecting hard-earned assets as well as doing business, banking and investing in a completely confidential market. .
Belize is centrally located in Central America and is an independent country within the Commonwealth bordered by Mexico, the Caribbean and Guatemala to the east and south (See Illustration 1). It is 24,000 sq km in size, with a population of 250,000. The country is heavily forested and the climate is nearly tropical with a likely chance for hurricanes. Belize's population is extremely mixed but is racially harmonious. English is the official language and the main religion is Christianity. The currency is the Belizean dollar, fixed at BZ$2 = US$1 (See Illustration 2). (1) (2).
Belize has a bi-cameral Westminster-style government similar to Great Britain; the lower house was most recently elected in 1998. Currently, the government is tackling economic problems caused by low commodity prices and reduced access to privileged markets for sugar and bananas by encouraging foreign investment in manufacturing. (1) (2) (5).
Internal Belizean taxes are moderate, with a turnover-based tax having replaced corporation tax.