Belize Economic Stability
The Belize economy is primarily agro-based. Belize trade is dominated by agricultural products, with products such as sugar and bananas having been the highlight of trade for a long time.
However, with the new policies, the economy has shifted its focus towards tourism as a potent sector to contribute to national growth. Tourism contributes more foreign exchange than Belize trade, although it remains vulnerable to the global economies.
Belize Trade, Exports and Imports
Belize trade has recovered from the global recession. While in 2008, Belize exports were recorded at $464.7 million, the export volume dropped to $395 million in 2009.
The following commodities are Belize’s main exported goods:
· Fish products
· Crude oil
The major export partners are:
This is how the aforementioned countries contribute to the total export volume (in percentage):
The Teak Wood Industry
The landscape of the global teak industry has changed significantly in the past couple of years.
Traditionally, the majority of the world’s teak came from natural teak forests located in a few specific countries in Southeast Asia. India, Thailand, Laos and, by far the most significant, Myanmar. Myanmar alone has traditionally supplied 75% of the world’s teak.
However, due to the extensive logging of the natural teak forests in these countries, as well as the uneconomic practice of selling unprocessed teak logs as opposed to more valuable, processed teak sawn wood, all of these countries in the past several years have implemented bans on the exportation of unprocessed teak logs, as well as increased regulations on the logging of natural teak forests. Myanmar, the world’s most important country in terms of teak production, was the final country to implement these changes, in April of 2014.
This is having a significant impact on the teak wood industry globally.
The Rise of Latin American Teak Plantations
As noted, the world’s supply of teak has traditionally come from natural teak forests. Due to over-logging and recent government bans on logging and exports however, this can no longer be the case.
Regardless, the world’s appetite for teak continues to grow. This means that teak must come from somewhere other than Myanmar and the handful of other Southeast Asian countries which have traditionally dominated the market.
Enter Latin America. Teak plantations have been developed in Latin America for the past several decades and now have fully established, robust teak plantations. These countries include Ecuador, Panama and Belize.
Although the teak production of these countries is not nearly what the production potentials of their southeast Asian counterparts was, it is still significant, and growing.