Free Zone Chairman has plans for beautification

The financial crisis is hurting the Corozal Free Zone and recent statistics show there has been a decline in merchandise imports, but this is not slowing the administration of the Zone. Officials told News Five today they have found a way to upgrade the general ambience of the facility. Free Zone Chairman, David Akierman, says that revenue collected in taxes and other charges at the Zone will be used in the upcoming project.

David Akierman, Chairman, Corozal Free Zone
“Last year we did a full topographic survey of the Free Zone, which entailed construction of streets, sidewalks, drains; organization, very needed; development, very needed. This is a trading center, right? And I think too long this place has been abandoned. We’re living in modern times, so what we’re trying to do is uplift the ambience right here. We’re gonna do close to a mile of streets.”

Marion Ali
“New streets?”

David Akierman
“News streets, underground drains. Not the drains that we’re used to seeing, you know in Belize the drains are open; these drains are covered drains. This will consist of organised parking in horizontal and vertical, sidewalks on two sides, drainage and streets and also we’re gonna pave the compound of the administration because we hope by September to October we should have a Health Post within our premises here. These are two major projects that we have—capital projects for 2009. This is a full-funded project by this administration. We are funding this. This project is gonna be invested in the vicinity of BZ$730,000. We generate money one, by the car entrances to the visitors, which we have a fee of about $1.30 per car. That’s one way we generate income. We generate from the annual fees or trade licenses; you know the trade license, we have a trade license here. We generate from that. We generate from the containers coming into the Zone; we charge a fee for the load of containers and we generate revenues too from other services; other services whereby if an investor needs some work to be done, let’s say removal of construction debris, we offer that service. We have utilities that generate money.”

Akierman says the work should take about 4 months to complete, give or take a week or two considering that it’s the rainy season. The contract has been awarded to Traffic Light Company from Puebla, Mexico. The project should create jobs for around 80 Belizeans.