By filing of a lawsuit arguing unconstitutionality the union of free zones aims to once again include the 25 sectors which were excluded from receiving tax benefits under the new law.
The regulations of the controversial Emergent Act for the Conservation of Employment are still under review by the Attorney General's Office and authorities at the Ministry of Economy stated they would evaluate the possibility of modifying it, since the law is already in force and can only be revised by Congress.
They argue that joining the bloc offers growth potential for commercial partners who to date represent only 4% of total exports.
Enrique Egloff, president of the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica provided support for this with figures which show that in 2015 Costa Rica's exports to the countries in the Pacific Alliance totaled $377 million and imports $1.786 billion. These amounts accounted for 4% of total exports and 12% of total imports. Of those exports, 97% are industrial goods, and for imports 95% are.
There is still no legal framework to manage the international cooperation funds that would finance the implementation of the customs union between the two countries.
Even though the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat (SIEC) announced "progress" in the process of the Customs Union between Guatemala and Honduras, Elperiodico.com.gt denounced the obstacles preventing it, "... the most visible being the establishment of a ministerial body. The body has still not been certified and therefore can not approve the creation of a "structural fund" where international cooperation resources would be deposited. "
The governments have confirmed that the process of technical implementation of the customs union will take between five to six months.
The Minister of Economy and Finance Ruben Morales referred to the process of the Customs Union between Guatemala and Honduras as "a gradual and progressive process, since its implementation will take five to six months. This process involves several institutions in the two countries. "
The decree approved by the Guatemalan Congress was the missing step needed to implement the free movement of people and goods between the two Central American countries.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade:
Guatemala, January 22, 2016. The Congress of Guatemala yesterday approved a Protocol Enabling the Deep Integration towards the free movement of people and goods between the Republics of Guatemala and Honduras.
The Panamanian airport administration has hired the British company Pragma Consulting to design the strategy to tender the commercial area of the southern terminal, scheduled for September 2016.
Pragma Consulting company also designed the tender process of the business premises that are currently operating under concessions which will expire in 2017. Regarding the tender of commercial spaces in the south terminal, whose construction is now 50% complete, the administrators indicated that it has been scheduled for September 2016.
The private sector is calling for a unique legislation that guarantees equal access to free zone regimes both for domestic and foreign companies.
From a statement issued by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDA):
The Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), along with several sectors of the country is concerned about the economic crisis affecting enterprises and workers in the Colon Free Zone, for which reason it is states that it is of the utmost importance to have a dialogue between all parties as this would allow progress to be made to moving towards a single framework law on free zones in our country.
An initiative from the panamanian private sector seeks to simplify the law, providing investment incentives for a period of not less than 10 years and expediting the approval of operating licenses.
Other proposals covered in this lawreform include the creation of the National Council of Free Zones, the aim of which is to be the sole supervisor of the sector. In addition, in order to improve the competitiveness of the free zones in the country, the private sector and the association of EPZs are seeking to implement measures to better compete with the laws, incentives, accessibility, and legal certainty in other zones in the region.
The Solis administration has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government to begin studying the feasibility of setting up a special economic zone in Costa Rica for enterprises from China.
As part of the agreement signed between the two governments, feasibility studies will be started along with defining where the zone will be sited. It is expected that, as previously announced by the government, the free zone will be developed outside of the Greater Metropolitan Area.
The country wants to take advantage of the tariff preferences it has to export shoes to the United States and the European Union so as to attract foreign investment to the sector and turn it into an export platform.
San Miguel Industrial Park is the only park that owns a construction and consulting company. We offer the Free Zone location with the perfect building to suit your manufacturing needs. Our flexible layouts allow an easy future growth. Because of this fact we can offer exactly what our clients need at a very competitive price. Clients can own a building or they can enter a lease agreement. Because of this flexibility many world known companies have chosen to work with us. We are licensed to build in Honduras providing the best free zone laws in the industry maximizing profitability.
Operates in Honduras and Honduras
Phone: (504) 2556-7373 - (504) 94510322
ATS El Salvador is a Customs Agency with 26 years of providing services for imports, exports, transits, consultancies and international transport.
Operates in El Salvador
Phone: (503) 2235 6522 - (503) 2235 6524
Generates business opportunities by linking supply and demand of goods and services between Central America and the rest of the world.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama
Phone: (506) 225 4786