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#16033 - 01/19/03 05:05 PM Airport Area to become Belize's 3rd Free Zone
Marty Offline
Belize is to have another free zone - this one in the Airport area, to
complement the work of the Corozal Free Zone and the Benque Viejo Free Zone.

Negotiations were concluded on Tuesday this week between the Government of
Belize, the Airports Authority and Free Zone International Limited, a
private company under the management of Mr. Arturo Lizarraga, for the
development of a commercial free zone at the Philip S.W. Goldson
International Airport.

This will establish Belize as a Tax-Free Shopping destination for Central
America and the Caribbean, an official spokesman said.

The International Free Zone expects to generate 2,000 direct jobs and 3,000
indirect jobs for the area and Belize City. In addition to tax free
commerce, the zone will also develop the delivery, fulfilment and
transportation sector, the production, value added and processing sector
and the entertainment, convention and event service sector.

Ninety companies have registered to enter the new free zone. This zone has
the benefit of being within driving distance of Mexico, Honduras, El
Salvador and Guatemala; it is ten miles from the sea port and now air
transportation not only reaches the United States but also the Caribbean.

There will be real time coordination with this free zone and BELTRAIDE,
Customs, the Airports Authority, Immigration Department, the Ministry of
Agriculture, the City of Belize and the Ministry of Investment to ensure
solid investment opportunities are fully and efficiently developed. Over
$200 million US dollars is expected to be invested over a five term period
in buildings, infrastructure, inventories and operating expenses.

Minister Ralph Fonseca signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of
Belize.

Dr. Amin Hegar signed for the Belize Airports Authority and Mr. Arturo
Lizarraga signed on behalf of International Free Zone Limited. The
agreement was signed in Belmopan.

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#16034 - 01/22/03 04:34 AM Re: Airport Area to become Belize's 3rd Free Zone
Axeman Offline
Marty, is this a good thing?
_________________________
Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...

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#16036 - 01/29/03 02:23 AM Re: Airport Area to become Belize's 3rd Free Zone
calypso Offline
Axeman:

I think the free zone is good for business; however it doesn't mean that it is necessarily benefiting the Belizean people. Even though it employes a lot of young Belizeans at a minimun wage, it still doesn't provide a reasonable imcome to purchase goods from the local shops that remain in town. The people still go to Chetumal to shop for reasonable goods, which means the Belize money is still going across the border, instead of benefiting Belize. The intention of the Government is to improve the economy and to maintain good relations with its neighbours, but it isn't really benefiting the Belizeans because they still can't afford to buy goods in Belize. What I noticed in Corozal Town, they had major stores that had reasonable goods that the Belizeans can afford, but these business owners notice that they can make more money at the Free Zone, so they close the local business and move it to the Free Zone, which leave the town and villages with small shops that have goods that are expensive. Most of the goods that are sold to the local stops are American goods and some are Mexican goods; however the goods are taxed according to the customs and local tax law, so the goods are expensive. This is the reason Belizeans still shop in Chetumal.

Another disadvantage is that Belizeans cannot shop at the free zone, it is only open to foreign tourists, and Mexicans. It limits the opportunity for Belizeans to be free to choose where they want to shop and to decide what would benefit their needs. I really don't understand the reason for the free zone, when it is only benefiting business owners who invest in the free zone, rather than the Belizean people. I notice that there are a lot of goods at the Free Zone that are reasonable which Belizeans can afford.

I really don't think that Belizeans should be restricted on where to shop,especially in a country like Belize where equality and freedom is important. I think if the government would open the Free Zone to everyone making it an affortable shopping plaza it would benefit the Belizeans and keep the money in the country. It is a nice place, but it is not finish yet, however it does have the potential to be a beautiful shopping area. The reason I think it should be open to everyone, because Belizeans deserve better and they deserve to shop in a beautiful shopping plaza. Why should it be restricted to foreign tourists and neighbouring countries. When Belizeans are worthy of good and beautiful things too. Most Belizeans see beautiful and modern shopping plaza when they visit other countries, so why can't Belize have the same, when they have the opportunity to do so.

Thank for your question...
_________________________
I like the new feature of the message board..It is a more appropriate format for safe and friendly discussions..Good luck, and hope everything works out for the best, Marty..Thanks...

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#16037 - 01/29/03 04:15 AM Re: Airport Area to become Belize's 3rd Free Zone
Axeman Offline
Thank you for responding..one of the most well spoken explanations I've read here.
Again
Thanks.. :-)
_________________________
Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...

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#16038 - 01/29/03 04:42 AM Re: Airport Area to become Belize's 3rd Free Zone
susangg Offline
The smart move would be to make the entire country a free zone, instead of ruining citizens and merchants with punishing customs duties.
I can understand having duty on products that are manufactured in Belize (up to a point) but Belize manufactures practically nothing, so the only point of the duties is to put more $$ in the hands of government.
When all is said and done, the Belizean people appear to be among the more highly taxed in the world. This government needs a 12 step program to wean itself off taxing, borrowing and spending the people's $$ to excess (and often on things that have no public benefit but funnel a lot of dough into the pockets of the powers that be...)
And yes, not allowing citizens to use the free trade zone is discriminatory, among other things.
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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