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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Belize focused on structural reforms to raise growth and social inclusion; strengthening resilience to natural disasters; balanced medium-term fiscal consolidation; tax reform; and strengthening financial oversight and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism actions. Public debt remains above 90 percent of gross domestic product, the current account deficit is projected to remain large over the medium term, and international reserves are just below three months of imports of goods and services. The pace of structural reform has been slow. Downside risks, including from slower US growth, natural disasters, crime, and renewed pressures on correspondent banking relationships could weaken growth and financial stability. Belize is adapting its tax regime in response to concerns from multilateral institutions regarding potentially harmful features. Sustaining Belize’s recent economic expansion, spurring private investment, and facilitating structural diversification hinges on strengthening the business environment.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper provides an overview of Belize’s tourism sector and main achievements and discusses the country’s comparative advantages and bottlenecks in tourism. It also analyzes the impact of structural and institutional reforms on tourist arrivals. The outturns in tourism have significantly exceeded targets set in the authorities’ National Sustainable Tourism Masterplan (NSTMP). The implementation of the NSTMP reforms has supported the tourism sector’s expansion. In order to guide the development of the tourism sector, the NSTMP 2011 proposes reforms and targets to propel Belize into an internationally recognized tourist destination by 2030. The emergence of the shared economy business model has also brought new challenges, in addition to opportunities. The benefits of the peer-to-peer accommodation available to customers on digital platforms include the expansion of tourism product, service, and sector offerings; improved access to market; and opportunities for income generation. It is imperative that reforms in the near term should focus on addressing the impact of recurring natural hazards, infrastructure bottlenecks, fortifying the institutional and governance framework, reducing crime, and mitigating concerns relating to the shared economy.