Belize - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Glossary -- Belize (Guyana and Belize)
- Belizean dollar (Bz$)
- Belizean monetary unit, divided into 100 cents. The official fixed exchange rate of US$1=Bz$2 was established in 1976 and remained in effect in 1991.
- In Belize low island or reef of sand or coral. The customary spelling in the United States, key, is not used in Belize.
- In Belize a term used for an English-speaking person of African or mixed African and European ancestry.
- crown colony
- A system of British colonial administration under which Britain retained control over defense, foreign affairs, internal security, and various administrative and budget matters. Crown colonies were governed internally by a British-appointed governor and a locally elected assembly. Prior to the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica in 1865, crown colony government was limited to Trinidad and St. Lucia. In 1871 in Belize and in 1928 in Guyana, the representative assemblies were dissolved, and the colonies were governed directly by the Colonial Office in London and by a British-appointed governor who was assisted by a local council, most of whose members were appointed by the governor. In time, however, an increasing number of officials were locally elected rather than appointed. Following the report of the Moyne Commission in 1938, the crown colony system was modified to make local councils even more representative and to give local officials more administrative responsibility. Nevertheless, defense, foreign affairs, and internal security remained the prerogatives of the crown.
- Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI)
- A plan announced by President George H.W. Bush on June 27, 1990, calling for the United States to negotiate agreements with selected Latin American countries to reduce their official debt to the United States and make funds available through this restructuring for environmental programs; to stimulate private investment; and to take steps to promote extensive trade liberalization with the goal of establishing free trade throughout the Western Hemisphere.
- fiscal year (FY)
- Guyana's fiscal year is the calendar year. Belize's fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.
- An ethnic group descended from the Carib of the Eastern Caribbean and from Africans who had escaped from slavery. The Garifuna resisted the British and the French in the Windward Islands until they were defeated by the British in 1796. After putting down a violent Garifuna rebellion on Saint Vincent, the British moved the Garifuna across the Caribbean to the Bay Islands (present-day Islas de la Bahía) in the Gulf of Honduras. From there they migrated to the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and southern British Honduras. Garifuna also refers to their language.
- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
- An intergovernmental agency related to the United Nations and headquartered in Geneva, GATT was established in 1948 as a multilateral treaty with the aim of liberalizing and stabilizing world trade. GATT's fundamental principles include nondiscriminatory trade among members, protection of domestic trade through the customs tariff, and agreement on tariff levels through negotiations among the contracting parties. The Uruguay Round of major multilateral trade negotiations, the eighth such round of negotiations, began at Punta del Este in September 1986 and was still underway at the end of 1991.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- A measure of the total value of goods and services produced by the domestic economy during a given period, usually one year. GDP is obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and depreciation (consumption of capital). Only domestic production is included, not income arising from investments and possessions owned abroad, hence the use of the word domestic to distinguish GDP from gross national product (q.v.).
- gross national product (GNP)
- The total market value of all final goods and services produced by an economy during a year. GNP is obtained by adding the gross domestic product (q.v.) and the income received from abroad by residents less payments remitted abroad to nonresidents.
- Guyanese dollar (G$)
- Guyanese monetary unit, divided into 100 cents. The Guyanese dollar was repeatedly devalued in the 1980s, the official exchange rate dropping from US$1=G$4.25 in 1985 to US$1=G$10 in 1987. In April 1989, the government changed the official exchange rate to US$1=G$33. The unofficial (market) exchange rate at that time was reportedly US$1=G$60. In February 1991, the exchange rate was devalued further to align the official rate with the market rate, and the official exchange rate was adjusted weekly to keep this parity. As of June 1991, the official rate was US$1=G$125.
- import-substitution industrialization
- An economic development strategy that emphasizes the growth of domestic industries, often by import protection using tariff and nontariff measures. Proponents favor the export of industrial goods over primary products.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations that takes responsibility for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members when they experience balance-of-payments difficulties. These loans often carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients.
- Lesser Antilles
- The easternmost islands of the West Indies (q.v.) extending from the Virgin Islands through Trinidad and including the small islands off the north coast of South America. Some of these islands are divided further into two subgroups: the Leeward Islands consisting of the northern part of the Lesser Antilles from the Virgin Islands through Dominica and including Anguilla, Saint Christopher (Saint Kitts) and Nevis, Barbuda, Antigua, and Guadeloupe; and the Windward Islands stretching from Martinique through Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent to Grenada. Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados, and the islands off the north coast of South America do not belong to either subgroup. The names Leeward and Windward refer to their sheltered (leeward) or exposed (windward) position relative to the prevailing northeasterly trade winds.
- Lomé Convention
- A series of agreements between the European Economic Community (EEC) and a group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states, mainly former European colonies, providing duty-free or preferential access to the EEC market for almost all ACP exports. The Stabilization of Export Earnings Scheme, a mechanism set up by the Lomé Convention, provides compensation for ACP export earnings lost through fluctuations in the world prices of agricultural commodities. The Lomé Convention also provides for limited EEC development aid and investment funds to be disbursed to ACP recipients through the European Development Fund and the European Investment Bank. The Lomé Convention is updated every five years. Lomé I took effect on April 1, 1976; Lomé II, on January 1, 1981; Lomé III, on March 1, 1985; Lomé IV, on March 1, 1990.
- In Belize a term used for a Spanish-speaking person of mixed European and Mayan ancestry.
- 936 funds
- Funds deposited by United States-based corporations in the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico in order to take advantage of Section 936 of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code, under which income derived from sources in Puerto Rico is exempted from United States income taxes. The funds may be used to help finance twin plant ventures with countries that have signed a bilateral tax information exchange agreement with the United States.
- An Afro-Christian revivalist cult formed in Jamaica in the early 1920s. The so-called Rastafarian Brethren emphasized rejection of both Jamaican and European culture in favor of eventual repatriation to Africa. Identifying Africa with Ethiopia, Rastafarians viewed then Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia as God incarnate. As hope of returning to Africa dwindled, Rastafarianism became more of a religious than a political movement. Rastafarians developed a system of beliefs compatible with their poverty and aloofness from society and similar to mystical experiences found in other protest religions. Rastas (as they are known in common parlance) have come to symbolize the movement away from white domination and toward a heightened black identity and pride. Rasta thought, reggae music, dance, and literature have been popularized throughout West Indian culture.
- special drawing rights (SDRs)
- Monetary unit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (q.v.) based on a basket of international currencies consisting of the United States dollar, the German deutsche mark, the Japanese yen, the British pound sterling, and the French franc.
- Sunni (from sunna, meaning `custom,' giving connotation of orthodoxy in theory and practice)
- A member of the larger of the great divisions of Islam. The Sunnis supported the traditional method of election to the caliphate and accepted the Umayyad line. On this issue then divided from the Shia in the first great Schism with in Islam.
- Tariff Schedule 807 program
- Refers to items 806.3 and 807 of the Tariff Schedules of the United States that allow the duty-free entry of goods whose final product contains a certain portion of raw material or labor value added in the Caribbean Basin.
- twin plant
- Productive arrangements whereby two or more producers in separate countries complementarily share the production of a good or service. Under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), such arrangements with the government of Puerto Rico potentially benefited from special investment or 936 funds (q.v.). The operations of twin plant ventures typically entailed the delegation of assembly or other labor-intensive production stages to plants in a CBI-designated country, from which these semi-finished products would then be shipped duty-free to Puerto Rico for final processing.
- West Indies
- Term for islands in or bordering the Caribbean Sea, including the small islands off the north coast of South America, and the Bahama Islands. The West Indies are commonly divided into three groups: the Bahamas, which include the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the British crown colony of the Turks and Caicos; the Greater Antilles, which consist of the four largest islands of Cuba, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Jamaica, and Puerto Rico; and the Lesser Antilles (q.v.) which consist of the smaller easternmost islands stretching from the Virgin Islands through Trinidad and the small islands off the coast of South America.
- World Bank
- The informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans at market-related rates of interest to developing countries at more advanced stages of development. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed specifically to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in less developed countries. The MIGA, founded in 1988, insures private foreign investment in developing countries against various noncommercial risks. The president and certain officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (q.v.).
NOTE: The information regarding Belize on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belize Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belize Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.