Canada - Belize Relations
Canada is represented by the Consulate of Canada to Belize, located in Belize City.
Belize is home to nearly 3,500 Canadians and an increasingly popular destination for Canadian tourists. The number of Canadian tourists totalled 160,000 in 2016, and tourism is expected to grow.
Belize benefits from Canada’s $600 million Caribbean Regional Development Program. Through the program, Canada is working with Belizean partners in:
- environment and climate change
- inclusive economic growth
- the rule of law
- public management reforms
Canada’s key focus on the Feminist International Assistance Policy is in line with the development priorities of Belize. Canada and Belize are working together on fighting gender-based violence, prosecuting sexual offenders and promoting youth diversion programs. Belize also benefits from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, which has been supporting projects on women’s’ empowerment, sustainable agriculture, and LGBTI rights.
Belize is a key country for engagement in Central America with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Canada supports Belizean officials in their strategic defence and security review. Canada also helps to strengthen the abilities of the Belizean Defence Force in addressing threats, including organized crime.
Trade and investment
Two-way trade between Canada and Belize totalled $17.5 million in 2017
Canadian exports to Belize totalled $15.7 million in 2017 and included meat, plastics, and vegetables.
Imports from Belize in 2017 totalled $1.8 million. Belize benefits from CARIBCAN, Canada’s preferential trade arrangement. Through CARIBCAN, the vast majority of Commonwealth Caribbean exports to Canada enter duty free.
The majority of Canadian investment in Belize is in the financial services, energy and forestry sectors. Potential for the expansion of Canadian economic interests in Belize remains positive, but limited, due to the small size of the market.
Territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala
Belize and Guatemala have a long-standing territorial dispute in which Guatemala claims a portion of Belizean territory. Canada is a member of the Group of Friends of the Belize-Guatemala Transition Process. Canada has supported efforts to resolve the border dispute, including funding the office of the Organization of American States in the Adjacency Zone. Guatemala held a referendum on referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice on April 15, 2018, with results in favour of the referral. Belize expects to undertake its referendum in 2019.
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