Country Listing

Belize Table of Contents


Business Community

The PUP and the UDP depended on the business community for financial support during elections. At one time, the PUP could count on the support of small businessmen, whose interests were negatively affected by the policies of the colonial government. Similarly, big business usually supported the groups that opposed the PUP. By the 1980s, however, this breakdown in support by the business community was no longer generally true. In the election of 1984, for example, the UDP's strong support for free enterprise drew support from small and large business interests. Differences between the economic policies of the two parties were small enough that members of the business community were likely to back whichever party they perceived as the likely winner of any given election. Sometimes, however, they hedged their bets by contributing to both parties.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry was the leading voice of the business community in Belize and was widely perceived as holding an influential voice in government. It officially endorsed neither political party and sought a good working relationship with the government of the day. It actively lobbied the government and monitored legislation on a variety of issues, such as mercantile policy, economic development, and policies on education and drugs. In its constitution, the chamber states that its objectives include fostering economic growth through the free-enterprise system, strengthening the public-private partnership, and enhancing the investment climate for Belizean and foreign investors. Members of the chamber included supporters of both the PUP and the UDP.

Data as of January 1992