Free Zone Law Reforms in Honduras

The business sector and executive authorities are working on a proposal for reforms to the Law of Free Zones of Puerto Cortés, a project that aims to expand existing incentives for this regime.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The modifications that will be discussed in next week's mobile congress in San Pedro Sula seek to reform decrees 1, 2, 3, 12, 16 and 22 of the Free Zone Law of Puerto Cortés.

You may be interested in "What Threats Are Facing Industrial Parks?

The proposal is prepared by representatives of the businessmen, the maquiladora sector, the Secretariat of Economic Development and deputies of the National Congress.

Mario Canahuati, president of the Honduran Association of Maquiladores, explained to that "... the country needs to update the law in order to compete with El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Haiti, since they have the same or better incentives for the arrival of new companies."

Canahuati added that "... with these reforms the country would receive a $192 million investment in the construction of a new park and the arrival of two factories."

Regarding the transformation of the legal frameworks of other competitors, in the case of Guatemala, the regulation for Special Public Economic Development Zones, which entered into force in the country on February 4, establishes tax incentives for companies operating under this scheme.

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Honduras: Reform to the Free Zones Law

December 2019

With the reform proposal to the Law of Free Zones presented to Congress, it is intended to reduce from 20 to 10 the requirements that must be met to approve a new free zone.

After several months of working on the proposal to make changes to the law, the file was submitted to the legislative chamber and prepared by the Honduran Maquiladora Association (AHM), the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Honduras and the Ministry of Economic Development (SDE).

Guatemala: Incentives for Free Zones Expire

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The business sector is demanding that the government take action to minimize the impact of the expiry at the end of the year of tax incentives granted to foreign firms in free zones.

About 1,300 companies enjoy the benefits granted by the World Trade Organization, which expire on December 31 this year. Two companies have already moved their operations to other countries, according to the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala.

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If proposed reforms are approved, the country should find it easier to attract foreign investment.

The reform to the Free Trade Zone law is expected to be approved by the end of the year, stated congressman Mariano Rayo.

"This initiative seeks to create conditions favorable to encouraging investment.

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