Economy of Botswana
Since gaining independence, Botswana has been one of the world's fastest growing economies, averaging about 5% per annum over the past decade. Growth in private sector employment averaged about 10% per annum during the first 30 years of the country's independence. After a period of stagnation at the turn of the 21st century, the economy of Botswana resumed registering strong levels of growth, with GDP growth exceeding 6-7% targets. Botswana has been praised by the African Development Bank for sustaining one of the world's longest economic booms. Economic growth since the late 1960s has been on par with some of Asia's largest economies; the government has maintained budget surpluses and has extensive foreign-exchange reserves. Botswana's impressive economic record has been built on a foundation of diamond mining, prudent fiscal policies, international financial and technical assistance, a cautious foreign policy, it is rated as the least corrupt country in Africa by international corruption watchdog Transparency International.
By one estimate, it has the fourth highest gross national income at purchasing power parity in Africa, giving it a standard of living around that of Mexico and Turkey. Although Botswana's economy is considered a model for countries in the region, its heavy dependence on mining and its high rate of HIV/AIDS infection and unemployment could threaten its success in the future. Trade unions represent a minority of workers in the Botswana economy. In general they are loosely organised "in-house" unions, although the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions is consolidating its role as the sole national trade union centre in the country. Agriculture still provides a livelihood for more than 80% of the population but supplies only about 50% of food needs and accounts for only 3% of GDP. Subsistence farming and cattle raising predominate; the sector is plagued by poor soils. Tourism is important to the economy. Substantial mineral deposits were found in the 1970s and the mining sector grew from 25% of GDP in 1980 to 38% in 1998.
Unemployment stands 21% but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. The Orapa 2000 project doubled the capacity of the country's main diamond mine from early 2000; this will be the main force behind continued economic expansion. Economic growth slowed in 2005-2008 and turned negative in 2009 as a result of the Great Recession, contracting by 5.2%. This was exacerbated by a major global downturn in the industrial sector, which shrank by 30%, Botswana's steep economic downturn contrasted with most other African nations which experienced continued growth through this period; some of Botswana's budget deficits can be traced to high military expenditures. Some critics have criticized this level of military spending, given the low likelihood of international conflict, but these troops are used for multilateral operations and assistance efforts. One of Botswana's biggest challenges is its low level of economic diversification; as of 2008, it depended on services and agriculture linked to the trade with South Africa.
Botswana is part of the Southern African Customs Union with South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia. The World Bank reports that in 2001, the SACU had a weighted average common external tariff rate of 3.6 percent. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, "there are few tariff or non-tariff barriers to trade with Botswana, apart from restrictions on licensing for some business operations, which are reserved for companies." Based on the revised trade factor methodology, Botswana's trade policy score is unchanged. The main export of Botswana is diamonds; as of 2017 it is the world's second largest producer of diamonds after Russia. Due to Botswana's heavy reliance on diamonds, strong global demand is vital to the health of the economy. Diamond exports provide Botswana's economy with strong supplies of foreign exchange and have offered a basis for industrial development and stimulated improvements in Botswana's infrastructure. However, despite their preeminent role in Botswana's economy, there are concerns that diamond mines are not labour-intensive enough to provide sufficient employment for Botswana's workforce, this mismatch has been cited as a factor in the country's structurally high unemployment rate.
Two large mining companies and Bamangwato Concessions, Ltd. operate in the country. BCL was placed in provisional liquidation in late 2016, following years of loss-making operations, was placed into final liquidation by the High Court in June 2017. Since the early 1980s, the country has been one of the world's largest producers of gem diamonds. Four large diamond mines have opened since independence. De Beers prospectors discovered diamonds in northern Botswana in the early 1970s; the first mine began production at Orapa followed by a smaller mine at Letlhakane. What has become the single richest diamond mine in the world opened in Jwaneng in 1982; the mine was discovered. Botswana produced a total over 30 million carats of diamonds from the three Debswana mines in 1999, is the highest producer of diamonds by value in the world. According to Debswana, the Orapa 2000 Expansion project increased the Orapa's mine annual output from 6 million carats to 12 million carats and raised total production to 26 million carats.
In 2003, Debswana opened the
Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties support protectionism, the opposite of free trade. Most nations are today members of the World Trade Organization multilateral trade agreements. Free trade is additionally exemplified by the European Economic Area and the Mercosur which have established open markets. However, most governments still impose some protectionist policies that are intended to support local employment, such as applying tariffs to imports or subsidies to exports. Governments may restrict free trade to limit exports of natural resources. Other barriers that may hinder trade include import quotas and non-tariff barriers, such as regulatory legislation. There is a broad consensus among economists that protectionism has a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth.
However, liberalization of trade can cause significant and unequally distributed losses, the economic dislocation of workers in import-competing sectors. Free trade policies may promote the following features: Trade of goods without taxes or other trade barriers. Trade in services without taxes or other trade barriers; the absence of "trade-distorting" policies that give some firms, households, or factors of production an advantage over others. Unregulated access to markets. Unregulated access to market information. Inability of firms to distort markets through government-imposed monopoly or oligopoly power. Trade agreements which encourage free trade. Two simple ways to understand the proposed benefits of free trade are through David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage and by analyzing the impact of a tariff or import quota. An economic analysis using the law of supply and demand and the economic effects of a tax can be used to show the theoretical benefits and disadvantages of free trade.
Most economists would recommend that developing nations should set their tariff rates quite low, but the economist Ha-Joon Chang, a proponent of industrial policy, believes higher levels may be justified in developing nations because the productivity gap between them and developed nations today is much higher than what developed nations faced when they were at a similar level of technological development. Underdeveloped nations today, Chang believes, are weak players in a much more competitive system. Counterarguments to Chang's point of view are that the developing countries are able to adopt technologies from abroad whereas developed nations had to create new technologies themselves and that developing countries can sell to export markets far richer than any that existed in the 19th century. If the chief justification for a tariff is to stimulate infant industries, it must be high enough to allow domestic manufactured goods to compete with imported goods in order to be successful; this theory, known as import substitution industrialization, is considered ineffective for developing nations.
The chart at the right analyzes the effect of the imposition of an import tariff on some imaginary good. Prior to the tariff, the price of the good in the world market is Pworld; the tariff increases the domestic price to Ptariff. The higher price causes domestic production to increase from QS1 to QS2 and causes domestic consumption to decline from QC1 to QC2; this has three main effects on societal welfare. Consumers are made worse off. Producers are better off; the government has additional tax revenue. However, the loss to consumers is greater than the gains by the government; the magnitude of this societal loss is shown by the two pink triangles. Removing the tariff and having free trade would be a net gain for society. An identical analysis of this tariff from the perspective of a net producing country yields parallel results. From that country's perspective, the tariff leaves producers worse off and consumers better off, but the net loss to producers is larger than the benefit to consumers. Under similar analysis, export tariffs, import quotas and export quotas all yield nearly identical results.
Sometimes consumers are better off and producers worse off and sometimes consumers are worse off and producers are better off, but the imposition of trade restrictions causes a net loss to society because the losses from trade restrictions are larger than the gains from trade restrictions. Free trade creates winners and losers, but theory and empirical evidence show that the size of the winnings from free trade are larger than the losses. According to mainstream economics theory, the selective application of free trade agreements to some countries and tariffs on others can lead to economic inefficiency through the process of trade diversion, it is economically efficient for a good to be produced by the country, the lowest cost producer, but this does not always take place if a high cost producer has a free trade agreement while the low cost producer faces a high tariff. Applying free trade to the high cost producer and not the low cost producer as well can lead to trade diversion and a net economic loss.
This is why many economists place such high importance on negotiations for global tar
Economy of Armenia
The economy of Armenia grew by 7.5% in 2017 and reached a nominal GDP of $11.537 billion per annum, while per capita GDP grew by 10.1% and reached $3,880. Until independence, Armenia's economy was based on industry—chemicals, electronic products, processed food, synthetic rubber and textiles. Armenian mines produce copper, zinc and lead; the vast majority of energy is produced with imported fuel, including gas and nuclear fuel from Russia The main domestic energy source is hydroelectric. Small amounts of coal and petroleum have not yet been developed. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, foreign direct investment. Economic ties with Russia remain close in the energy sector; the former government has made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been more difficult to implement in the period when Republican Party of Armenia was in power. This is expected to change after 2018 velvet revolution.
Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia had developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy. Since the implosion of the USSR in December 1991, Armenia has switched to small-scale agriculture away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era; the agricultural sector has long-term needs for updated technology. The privatization of industry has been at a slower pace, but has been given renewed emphasis by the current administration. Armenia is a food importer, its mineral deposits are small; the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the breakup of the centrally directed economic system of the former Soviet Union contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. Armenia ranks 29th out of 162 economies according to the 2018 Report of Economic Freedom of the World published by Fraser Institute. Armenia ranks 44th out of 180 economies according to the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom published by Heritage Foundation.
Armenia is ranked 20th freest among the 44 countries in the Europe region. Armenia ranks 47th out of 185 economies according to the 2018 ease of doing business index. Armenia ranks 70th out of 140 economies according to the 2018 Global Competitiveness Index. At the beginning of the 20th century, the territory of present-day Armenia was a backward agricultural region with some copper mining and cognac production. From 1914 through 1921, Caucasian Armenia suffered from war, the influx of refugees from Turkish Armenia, disease and economic misery. About 200,000 people died in 1919 alone. At that point, only American relief efforts saved Armenia from total collapse; the first Soviet Armenian government regulated economic activity stringently, nationalising all economic enterprises, requisitioning grain from peasants, suppressing most private market activity. This first experiment of state control ended with the advent of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin's New Economic Policy of 1921–27; this policy continued state control of the large enterprises and banks, but peasants could market much of their grain, small businesses could function.
In Armenia, the NEP years brought partial recovery from the economic disaster of the post-World War I period. By 1926 agricultural production in Armenia had reached nearly three-quarters of its prewar level. By the end of the 1920s, Stalin's regime had revoked the NEP and reestablished the state monopoly on all economic activity. Once this occurred, the main goal of the Soviet economic policy in Armenia was to turn a predominantly agrarian and rural republic into an industrial and urban one. Among other restrictions, peasants now were forced to sell nearly all of their output to state procurement agencies rather than at the market. From the 1930s through the 1960s, an industrial infrastructure has been constructed. Besides hydroelectric plants and canals, roads were built and gas pipelines were laid to bring fuel and food from Azerbaijan and Russia; the Stalinist command economy, in which market forces were suppressed and all orders for production and distribution came from the state authorities, survived in all its essential features until the fall of the Soviet regime in 1991.
In the early stages of the communist economic revolution, Armenia underwent a fundamental transformation into a "proletarian" society. Between 1929 and 1939, the percentage of Armenia's work force categorised as industrial workers grew from 13% to 31%. By 1935 industry supplied 62% of Armenia's economic production. Integrated and sheltered within artificial barter economy of the Soviet system from the 1930s until the end of the communist era, the Armenian economy showed few signs of self-sufficiency at any time during that period. In 1988 Armenia produced only 0.9% of the net material product of the Soviet Union. The republic retained 1.4% of total state budget revenue, delivered 63.7% of its NMP to other republics, exported only 1.4% of what it produced to markets outside the Soviet Union. Agriculture accounted for only 20% of net material product and 10% of employment before the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Armenia's industry was dependent on the Soviet military-industrial complex. About 40% of all enterprises in the republic were devoted to defense, some factories lost 60% to 80% of their business in the last years of the Soviet Union, when massive cuts were made in the national defense expen
Economy of Albania
The economy of Albania went through a process of transition from a centralized economy to a market-based economy on the principles of the free market. Albania is an Upper-middle-income country and a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, World Trade Organization, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Albania is an Upper-middle-income country with an economy based on the service and industrial sectors; the country is rich in natural resources, the economy is bolstered by agriculture, food processing, oil, chemicals, basic metals, hydro power, textile industry, petroleum extraction. The strongest sectors are energy, metallurgy and tourism. Primary industrial exports are clothing, chrome and refined fuels; the tourism sector is traditionally a notable source of income of the people of the nation during the summer months, but more during the winter months as well, due to an increase in popularity of snow sports such as skiing.
With over 3.8 million tourists annually, tourism generates revenue in excess of €1,5 billion. Albania is ranked among the top 25 most popular tourist destinations in Europe, was voted one of the world's top tourism destination in 2014 by The New York Times and Lonely Planet. Following the collapse of the communist regime in 1990, Albania was marked by a mass exodus of refugees to Italy and Greece; the country attempted to transition to autarky, but this has succeeded. Attempts at reform began in earnest in early 1992 after real GDP growth of more than 50% from its peak in 1989; the country suffers from high organized crime and high corruption rates. The democratically elected government that assumed office in April 1992 launched an ambitious economic reform program to halt economic deterioration and put the country on the path toward a market economy. Key elements included price and exchange system liberalization, fiscal consolidation, monetary restraint, a firm income policy; these were complemented by a comprehensive package of structural reforms including privatization and financial sector reform, creation of the legal framework for a market economy and private sector activity.
Most agriculture, state housing, small industry were privatized. This trend continued with the privatization of transport and small and medium-sized enterprises. In 1995, the government began privatizing large state enterprises. After reaching a low point in the early 1990s, the economy expanded again, reaching its 1989 level by the end of the decade; this is a chart of Gross Domestic Product of Albania in US dollars based on Purchasing Power Parity from estimates by the International Monetary Fund. For purchasing power parity comparisons, the US dollar is exchanged at 49 leks. Mean wages were $300.83 per month in 2009. Albania is a low income country by Western European standards, with GDP per capita lower than all countries in the EU. According to Eurostat, Albania's GDP per capita stood at 35 percent of the EU average in 2008; the current unemployment rate is 12.4%. Results of Albania's efforts were encouraging. Led by the agricultural sector, real GDP grew by an estimated 111% in 1993, 89% in 1994, more than 119% in 1995, with most of this growth in the private sector.
Annual inflation dropped from 25% in 1991 to zero. The Albanian currency, the lek, stabilized. Albania became less dependent on food aid; the speed and vigour of private entrepreneurial response to Albania's opening and liberalizing was better than expected. Beginning in 1995, progress stalled, with negligible GDP growth in 1996 and a 59% contraction in 1997. A weakening of government resolve to maintain stabilization policies in the election year of 1996 contributed to renewal of inflationary pressures, spurred by the budget deficit which exceeded 0.12%. Inflation approached 0.20% in 1996 and 0.50% in 1997. The collapse of financial pyramid schemes in early 1997 – which had attracted deposits from a substantial portion of Albania's population – triggered severe social unrest which led to more than 1,500 deaths, widespread destruction of property, an 0.08% drop in GDP. The lek lost up to half of its value during the 1997 crisis, before rebounding to its January 1998 level of 0.00143 to the dollar.
The new government, installed in July 1997, has taken strong measures to restore public order and to revive economic activity and trade. Albania is undergoing an intensive macroeconomic restructuring regime with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; the need for reform is profound. In 2000, the oldest commercial bank, Banka Kombetare Tregtare/BKT was privatized. In 2004, the largest commercial bank in Albania—then the Savings Bank of Albania—was privatised and sold to Raiffeisen Bank of Austria for US$124 million. Macroeconomic growth has averaged around 59% over the last five years and inflation is low and stable; the government has taken measures to curb violent crime, adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment. The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad representing about 15% of GDP from Albanians residing their weekends in Greece and Italy; the agricultural sector, which accounts for over half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, the prevalence of small
Economy of Benin
The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture and cotton. Cotton accounts for 40% of GDP and 80% of official export receipts. There is production of textiles, palm products, cocoa beans. Maize, rice, cashews, cassava and other various tubers are grown for local subsistence. Benin began producing a modest quantity of offshore oil in October 1982. Production ceased in recent years but exploration of new sites is ongoing. A modest fishing fleet provides shrimp for local subsistence and export to Europe. Government-owned commercial activities are now privatized. A French brewer acquired the former state-run brewery. Smaller businesses are owned by Beninese citizens, but some firms are foreign owned French and Lebanese; the private commercial and agricultural sectors remain the principal contributors to growth. Since the transition to a democratic government in 1990, Benin has undergone an economic recovery. A large injection of external investment from both private and public sources has alleviated the economic difficulties of the early 1990s caused by global recession and persistently low commodity prices.
The manufacturing sector is confined to some light industry, involved in processing primary products and the cow production of consumer goods. A planned joint hydroelectric project with neighboring Togo is intended to reduce Benin's dependence on imported energy from Ghana, which accounts for a significant proportion of the country's imports; the service sector has grown stimulated by economic liberalization and fiscal reform, the use of modern technology such as automobiles and computers has grown as a result. Membership of the CFA Franc Zone offers reasonable currency stability as well as access to French economic support. Benin sells its products to France and, in smaller quantities, to the Netherlands, Korea and India. France is Benin's leading source for imports. Benin is a member of the Economic Community of West African States. Despite its rapid growth, the economy of Benin still remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, regional trade. Growth in real output averaged a sound 5% since 1996, but a rapid population rise offset much of this growth on a per capita basis.
Inflation has subsided over the past several years. Commercial and transport activities, which make up a large part of GDP, are vulnerable to developments in Nigeria fuel shortages. Although trade unions in Benin represent up to 75% of the formal workforce, the large informal economy has been noted by the International Trade Union Confederation to contain ongoing problems, including a lack of women's wage equality, the use of child labour, the continuing issue of forced labour. In December 2014, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs issued a List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor in which the Republic of Benin was mentioned among 74 other countries where significant instances of child labor were observed. Two major products involved such working conditions in Benin: cotton and crushed granite. Benin’s financial sector is dominated by banks, in general remains shallow. However, a series of reforms were undertaken in the 1990s, which resulted in the consolidation of the banking sector and in the privatization of all state banks.
A legal framework regarding licensing, bank activities and capital requirements and sanctions is in place and underwent significant reforms in 1999. There is no customer deposit insurance system. Benin has a diversified microfinance sector. Data from 2003 by the Central Bank stated a penetration rate of microfinance services of 60 percent. In 2006 the Ministry of Microfinance and Employment of Youth and Women counted 762 organizations with 1308 branches, including Cooperatives, NGOs, Savings/Credit Associations and government projects. Programmes for strengthening the sector are carried out on national and regional levels, such as the PRAFIDE; the microfinance sector is subject to supervision through the Central Bank as well as the responsible Ministry for Microfinance and Employment of Youth and Women. Benin is member of the Bourse Regionale des Valeures Mobilières located in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Stocks were issued by a number of companies in the region. Listed bonds were issued by companies and by governments of the West African Monetary and Economic Union.
The payment and settlement system and clearing mechanisms were reformed in 2004 through the BCEAO and offer RTGS and SWIFT access to banks, financial institutions, the stock exchange as well as the Central bank and special banks. Banque Internationale du Bénin Bank of Africa Benin Continental Bank Benin Diamond Bank Benin Ecobank Financial Bank Finadev Caisse Nationale d'Epargne Credit du Bénin Equibail United Bank of Africa Africa Bank for the Industry and the trade Sahelo-Saharian Bank of the Industry and Trade Development The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017. Agriculture in Benin Fishing in Benin Mulindabigwi, Valens. Influence des systemes agraires sur l'utilisation des terroirs, la sequestration du carbone et la sécurité alimentaire dans le bassin versant de l'Oueme superieur au Bénin. Göttingen: Cuvillier. ISBN 978-3-86537-871-2; this article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.
Benin Banking Information Economy of Benin at Curlie
Economy of Australia
The economy of Australia is a large mixed-market economy, with a GDP of A$1.69 trillion as of 2017. In 2018 Australia became the country with the largest median wealth per adult. Australia's total wealth was AUD$8.9 trillion as of June 2016. In 2016, Australia was the 14th-largest national economy by nominal GDP, 20th-largest by PPP-adjusted GDP, was the 25th-largest goods exporter and 20th-largest goods importer. Australia took the record for the longest run of uninterrupted GDP growth in the developed world with the March 2017 financial quarter, the 103rd quarter and marked 26 years since the country had a technical recession; the Australian economy is dominated by its service sector, comprising 61.1% of the GDP and employing 79.2% of the labour force in 2016. East Asia is a top export destination, accounting for about 64% of exports in 2016. Australia has the eighth-highest total estimated value of natural resources, valued at US$19.9 trillion in 2016. At the height of the mining boom in 2009–10, the total value-added of the mining industry was 8.4% of GDP.
Despite the recent decline in the mining sector, the Australian economy has remained resilient and stable and has not experienced a recession since July 1991. The Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney is the 16th-largest stock exchange in the world in terms of domestic market capitalisation and has the largest interest rate derivatives market in Asia; some of Australia's large companies include but are not limited to: Wesfarmers, Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ, Macquarie Group and Caltex Australia. The currency of Australia and its territories is the Australian dollar which it shares with several Pacific nation states. Australia is a member of the APEC, G20, OECD and WTO; the country has entered into free trade agreements with ASEAN, Chile, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and the United States. The ANZCERTA agreement with New Zealand has increased integration with the economy of New Zealand and in 2011 there was a plan to form an Australasian Single Economic Market by 2015.
Australia's average GDP growth rate for the period 1901–2000 was 3.4% annually. As opposed to many neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, the process towards independence was peaceful and thus did not have significant negative impact on the economy and standard of living. Growth peaked followed by the 1950s and the 1980s. By contrast, the late 1910s/early 1920s, the 1930s, the 1970s and early 1990s were marked by financial crises. From the early 1980s onwards, the Australian economy has undergone intermittent economic liberalisation. In 1983, under prime minister Bob Hawke, but driven by treasurer Paul Keating, the Australian dollar was floated and financial deregulation was undertaken; the early 1990s recession came swiftly after the Black Monday of October 1987, as a result of a stock collapse of unprecedented size which caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall by 22.6%. This collapse, larger than the stock market crash of 1929, was handled by the global economy and the stock market began to recover.
But in North America, the lumbering savings and loans industry was facing decline, which led to a savings and loan crisis which compromised the well-being of millions of US people. The following recession thus impacted the many countries linked to the USs, including Australia. Paul Keating, prime minister at the time, famously referred to it as "the recession that Australia had to have." During the recession, GDP fell by 1.7%, employment by 3.4% and the unemployment rate rose to 10.8%. However, the recession did assist in reducing long-term inflation rate expectations and Australia has maintained a low inflation environment since the 1990s to the present day. Mining has contributed to Australia's high level of economic growth, from the gold rush in the 1840s to the present day; the opportunities for large profits in pastoralism and mining attracted considerable amounts of British capital, while expansion was supported by enormous government outlays for transport and urban infrastructures, which depended on British finance.
As the economy expanded, large-scale immigration satisfied the growing demand for workers after the end of convict transportation to the eastern mainland in 1840. Australia's mining operations secured continued economic growth and Western Australia itself benefited from mining iron ore and gold from the 1960s and 1970s which fueled the rise of suburbanisation and consumerism in Perth, the capital and most populous city of Western Australia, as well as other regional centres; the Australian government stimulus package helped to prevent a recession. The World Bank expected Australia's GDP growth rate to be 3.2% in 2011 and 3.8% in 2012. The economy expanded by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2011, expanded by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2012. The growth rate was reported to be 4.3% year-on-year. The International Monetary Fund in April 2012 predicted that Australia would be the best-performing major advanced economy in the world over the next two years, and JP Morgan in May 2012 cut its growth forecast to 2.7% in calendar 2012 from a previous forecast of 3.0% its forecast for growth in 2013 to 3.0% from 3.3%.
Deutsche Bank in August 2012, Société Générale in October 2012, warned that there is risk of recession in Australia in 2013. While Austra
Economy of Belize
Belize has a small private enterprise economy, based on agriculture and services. The cultivation of newly discovered oil in the town of Spanish Lookout has presented new prospects and problems for this developing nation. Belize's primary exports are citrus and bananas. Belize's trade deficit has been growing as a result of low export prices for sugar and bananas; the new government faces important challenges to economic stability. Rapid action to improve tax collection has been promised, but a lack of progress in reining in spending could bring the exchange rate under pressure; the Belize Dollar is fixed to the U. S. dollar at a rate of 2:1. Domestic industry is limited, constrained by high-cost labour and energy and a small domestic market. Tourism attracts the most foreign direct investment although significant foreign investment is found in the energy, telecommunications, agricultural sectors. Belize's economy depended on forestry until well into the 20th century. Logwood, used to make dye, was Belize's initial main export.
However, the supply outstripped the demand as Europeans developed man-made dyes which were less expensive. Loggers turned to mahogany; the wood was prized for use in cabinets and railroad carriers. While many merchants and traders became wealthy from the mahogany industry and downs in the market had a large impact on the economy. In addition, new mahogany trees weren't being planted; as the 19th century progressed, loggers were forced to go deeper into the forests to find the trees, increasing labour costs. Variations of mahogany exports over long periods of time were linked to the accessible supply of the resource. Thus, improvements in hauling methods helped the cutters satisfy increasing demands for mahogany by enabling them to extract timber from areas in the interior, inaccessible to them. After the introduction of cattle in the early 19th century, tractors in the 1920s, lorries in the 1940s, production levels rose dramatically; when the supply of accessible timber dwindled and logging became too unprofitable in the 20th century, the country's economy shifted to new sectors.
Cane sugar became the principal export and has been augmented by expanded production of citrus, bananas and apparel. The country has about 8,090 km² of arable land, only a small fraction of, under cultivation. To curb land speculation, the government enacted legislation in 1973 that requires non-Belizeans to complete a development plan on land they purchase before obtaining title to plots of more than 10 acres of rural land or more than one-half acre of urban land. Banana production accounted for 16 percent of total Belizean exports in 1999. Citrus fruits are Belize's second most important agricultural crop. A major constraint on a functioning market economy in Belize continues to be the scarcity of infrastructure investments. Although electricity and water utilities are all good, Belize has the most expensive electricity in the region. Several capital projects are underway; the largest of these is a $15 million rural electrification program to be jointly implemented by the government and Belize Electricity Limited.
Ports in Belize City and Big Creek handle scheduled shipping from the U. S. and the United Kingdom although draft is limited to a maximum of 10 feet in Belize City and 15 feet in southern ports. International air service is provided by Westjet, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines, U. S. Airways, TACA to/from gateways in Toronto, Texas, Texas, North Carolina, Miami and San Salvador. A combination of factors—climate, the Belize Barrier Reef, 127 offshore Cayes, excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, scuba diving, snorkeling, abundant jungle flora and fauna, numerous Mayan ruins—support the thriving tourism and ecotourism industry. Development costs are high, but the Government of Belize has designated tourism as its second development priority after agriculture. In 2011, tourist arrivals totaled tourist receipts amounted to $260 million; the travel and tourism industry in 2011 directly contributed 350.6 million BZD to Belize's GDP. This reflects the economic activity directly generated by industries supported by tourists, such as hotels, leisure industries, travel agents and other transportation services.
The total contribution to GDP in 2011 was 971.9 million BZD. Travel and tourism directly generated 14,500 jobs in 2011 and, including indirect and induced effects, supported 40,000 jobs. Belize's economic performance is susceptible to external market changes. Although moderate growth has been achieved in recent years, the achievements are vulnerable to world commodity price fluctuations and continuation of preferential trading agreements with the U. S. and UK. Belize continues to rely on foreign trade with the United States as its number one trading partner. Total imports in 2000 totaled $446 million. In 2000, the U. S. provided 49.7 % of all Belizean imports. Other major trading partners