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- Bilateral relations
- Trade relations
- Partnerships and organizations
- Canada-Belize fact sheet
Canada and Belize enjoy a positive bilateral relationship spanning for more than 40 years.
This relationship is reinforced by shared ties such as being part of the Commonwealth and the Organization of American States, common historical traditions, similar systems of governments, and significant cultural and people-to-people links. Canada and Belize are also working together through active engagement at the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) to advance common goals of prosperity, resilience to climate change, gender equality and economic development.
Belize is home to over 13,000 Canadians and an increasingly popular destination for thousands of Canadian tourists.
Since 2015, Canada has supported Belize through its Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) with projects tackling illicit drugs, corruption, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, crime prevention (including cyber security issues), security sector reform and proceeds of crime (including money laundering).
Belize has been identified as a key country for engagement in Central America by the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF). Canada assisted Belize with the development of a Joint Intelligence Operations Centre, an initiative aimed at improving whole-of-government cooperation among security forces and continues to support Belize with their Strategic Defense Review.
Belize is represented in Canada by the High Commission of Belize to Canada located in Washington D.C., as well as by Honorary Consulates in Calgary, AB and London, ON. Canada is represented in Belize by the High Commission of Canada to Belize, located in Guatemala City.
With the launch of the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) in 2009, Belizean students have been granted the opportunity to study and research in Canada. Other available scholarships for Belizean students interested in pursuing studies in Canada include the Canada-CARICOM Skills Training for the Green Economy Scholarships and the Canada-CARICOM Faculty Leadership Program.
Canadian exports to Belize include mostly milling industry products (malt), small machinery and fertilizer products.
Imports from Belize encompassed mostly vegetable and agricultural products, such as sugar and nut products. Belize benefits from CARIBCAN, Canada’s preferential trade arrangement. Through CARIBCAN, most Commonwealth Caribbean exports to Canada enter duty free.
Most Canadian investment in Belize is in the 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.
Canada’s international assistance in Belize, implemented through the Caribbean Regional Development Program, is consistent with our Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) and with Belize’s development needs and priorities. Canada’s development programming is focused on mutual priorities, including climate and economic resilience, sustainable and inclusive governance, and advancing of gender equality, mostly provided through regional and multi-country programs.
Following the 2017 hurricane season that devastated the Caribbean, Canada announced 5-year $100M pledge to support Caribbean Reconstruction and Economic and Climate Resilience. The pledge was fulfilled in 2022, and included climate change adaptation and strengthened natural disaster planning and response through organizations such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
At the CARICOM Intersessional Meeting in February 2020, Canada announced its financial commitment to resilience, technical assistance and education exchanges for the Caribbean. This includes, for example, the Canada-CARICOM Expert Deployment Mechanism, which provides technical assistance to CARICOM governments, including Belize, to help diversify and strengthen the economy, build climate resilient communities, and reduce gender and economic inequalities.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Canada redirected programming to respond to Belize and Caribbean needs, including to address gender-based violence, income support and essential services, training and technical assistance for health professionals, as well as medical supplies and protective equipment.
Canada also supports Belize through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, and non-governmental and multilateral organizations, such as the Caribbean Development Bank.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Belize work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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