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Belize has experienced rapid growth in BPO investments over the past decade. With a young population, a competitive business environment, world class telecoms infrastructure and a supportive government, the country is fast becoming a recognised location for the global outsourcing industry. English is the official language of Belize but over half of the population also speak Spanish making it a truly bilingual destination for serving multiple markets. The country is also highly cost effective for BPO operations. Salaries are 60% to 80% lower than US locations. Call centre wages are as low as US$2.25 for entry level staff and US$5 to US$6 for employees at supervisory level.

Outsourced services in Belize have primarily been in the area of inbound and outbound call centre operations, but companies located in the country have been diversifying into a wide range of areas including information technology outsourcing (ITO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO). IT services currently offered by Belize based companies include technical support, software development, programming, web design, data processing and e-marketing. Professional services are also offered including legal, financial accounting, auditing, taxation, architectural, engineering, virtual management, business consulting and research and development.

Belize City is the primary centre for BPO operations, but other locations in Belize are emerging, such as Ladyville, Belmopan, San Ignacio, Corozal and Orange Walk. One such facility outside Belize City is the Benque Viejo Free Zone BPO Building. Located in Western Belize, close to the Guatemala border, this 26,000 sq. ft. purpose built facility can accommodate up to 1,500 agents. The developer is currently offering this facility for purchase, lease or rent. 

Sector Strengths

BPO Advantages in Belize

  • Belize is situated in an ideal location to provide BPO services for international companies. It is connected to key US cities with 2 to 4 hour, direct flights and is located in the Central Time Zone. It also has easy access to Central America and the Caribbean.
  • The country offers a skilled workforce with a track record in providing high quality staff to BPO operations. Almost 3,000 people work in the BPO sector in Belize and previous operations have experienced less than a 5% attrition rate of employees[1]. The country’s workforce is English speaking with a neutral accent; well suited to dealing with international clients. With a large Spanish speaking population, it is the only Caribbean location which is truly bilingual. Belize is also highly open to bringing in outside talent with no visa requirement for US, Canadian, EU or Caribbean citizens and easy availability of work permits and visas where required.
  • Belize has a modern telecom infrastructure with two main fibre optic hubs (ARCOS and TELMAX) and a third in development, with high redundancy rates nationally.

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[1] Beltraide

Investor Testimonials

“In our experience, Belize has been a great place to find candidates, and we are excited about what the future will bring. Belizeans tend to have impressive skills in a number of key areas, as well as complete fluency in English, which is also a major benefit.”

 

 

Dr Linda West, President of Actyl Group
Incentives

Belize offers a wide range of incentives to assist investors in BPO operations. These include:

  • 20 year tax holiday with option to deduct loss from profits - Ease of offsetting initial losses incurred after operations turn profitable
  • Import/export duty exemptions - Exemptions on import of equipment related to operations
  • Full repatriation of funds - Full repartition of both capital and profits thus ensuring high degree of investment safety
  • Exemption on property and land taxes, excise, sales, consumption taxes, taxes on trade turnover, foreign exchange and transfer tax - Exemption from local taxes/levies lowering operational costs and further improving service competitiveness
  • Dividend tax exemption in perpetuity - No tax on dividends paid out
  • No restriction on operating foreign currency bank accounts in Belize and abroad - Ease in foreign exchange and overseas transactions
  • No Import and export licensing requirements - Less paper work resulting in faster operationalization of projects
  • No trade licenses - No trade licenses required to commence operations lowering time to market
  • Assistance with recruitment - Assistance in recruiting BPO staff and agents through BELTARIDE
  • Government training programs - Ensuring high availability of trained BPO professionals
  • Investment and start up facilitation through application fast tracking, real estate assistance - BELTRAIDE through a dedicated BPO cell assists investors at every stage of the investment process ensuring smooth initiation of operations.
Agribusiness worker 
(annual labour cost  = unskilled production operative)
Electricity cost
The cost for electricity for industrial use per kWh
Water cost 
The cost for water for industrial use per cubic meter.
Gas cost 
The cost for gas for industrial use per cubic meter.
Telecom cost
The cost charged by a leading telecom operator for a 3 minute call to USA
Industrial space (Property) *
capital city – give name - The total cost of industrial space based on rental fees plus any taxes and/or service charge (per sq ft p.a.)
Office space (Property) * 
capital city – give name -The total cost of office space based on rental fees plus any taxes and/or service charge (per sq ft p.a.)
Social security contributions (employer) %
Statutory social security which companies must pay on top of salaries
Select fact file categories to add to export

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Indicators for Labour Costs

Data Point Value Units Year
Labour costs (minimum wage USD per month)1 386 US dollar per month 2015
Social security contributions (employer) %2 5.4 Percentage 2015

1 - World Bank Doing Business
2 - EY Worldwide Personal Tax Guide 2014/15

Indicators for Utility Costs

Data Point Value Units Year
Electricity cost1 155 US dollar per Megawatt per hours 2015
Water cost - The cost for water for industrial use per cubic meter2 2.1 US$/m3 2010
Telecom cost - The cost charged by a leading telecom operator for a 1 minute call to USA3 0.19 USD per minute 2014

1 - Climatescope
2 - Corporacion del acueducto y Acantarillado de Santo Domingo
3 - International Telecommunication Union - ITU

Indicators for Property Costs

Data Point Value Units Year
Industrial space (Property)1 85.1 USD per year/m2 2015
Office space (Property)2 228.4 USD 2015

1 - Cushman and Wakefield
2 - Cushman and Wakefield

Indicators for Taxes

Data Point Value Units Year
Top personal tax rate (%)1 25 Percentage 2015

1 - The Heritage Foundation

Indicators for Exports

Data Point Value Units Year
Computer, communications and other services (% of commercial service exports)1 22.9 Percentage 2014
Insurance and financial services (% of commercial service exports)1 0.7 Percentage 2014

1 - World Development Indicators

Transport services (% of commercial service exports)1 5.3 Percentage 2014

Indicators for Size of Industry

Data Point Value Units Year
Number of companies in software & IT services1 36 Number of companies 2016
Number of companies in business services1 59 Number of companies 2016
Number of companies in communications1 4 Number of companies 2016
Number of companies in financial services1 2036 Number of companies 2016
Number of BPO FDI projects (2006-15)2 3 FDI projects 2006-2015
Number of BPO FDI jobs (2006-15)2 1378 Jobs 2006-2015

1 - fDi Intelligence from the Financial Times
2 - fDi Markets

Indicators for ICT Infrastructure

Data Point Value Units Year
International internet bandwidth1 41829 Bits per Internet user 2014
Internet download speed (kb/s)3 2808.7 Kilobits per second 2014
Internet upload speed (kb/s)3 1732.4 Kilobits per second 2014
Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)4 50.7 Subscriptions per 100 people 2014

1 - World Development Indicators: The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology
2 - Global Information Technology Report, World Economic Forum
3 - fDi Intelligence from the Financial Times based on Ookla Net Index
4 - World Development Indicators

Secure internet servers4 210.4 Servers per 1 million people 2014 Percentage of individuals using the internet4 38.7 Subscriptions per 100 people 2014

Belize Trade & Investment Development Service

14 Orchid Garden Street

City of Belmopan

P: 501-822-3737/0175

F: 501-822 0595

info@belize.org