Friday, July 12, 2024

Corozal Free Zone Access Road Project: Paving the Way for Economic Growth and Connectivity


On 10th November 2023 marks a historical milestone for the Corozal Free Zone. The signing ceremony for the Rehabilitation of the Santa Elena Access Road to the Corozal Free Trade Zone was concluded. This transformative undertaking, funded in element through a grant from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the Government of Belize, is ready to redefine the landscape of our community and propel us into a brand-new generation of business.
This project is a significant milestone that will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the Corozal Free Zone, its businesses, and our country as a whole.
The Corozal Free Zone has long been a vital hub for trade and commerce, not just for Belizeans but also for foreigners from all over the world. It has been instrumental in boosting economic growth and job opportunities for our people. Many investors now view our country as home as the Corozal Free Zone has allowed them to prosper, invest, and learn from our cultures and traditions. However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Since its inception in 1995, the Corozal Free Zone has seen unprecedented growth. In the early 2000s, business activity was at an all-time high with long lines to enter and exit the premises as Mexicans would come to fuel their vehicles and shop for their duty-free items. Busloads of people would visit from all around the Mexican Republic as it was much simpler to take goods back to their country. But as time passed, the potential of the Corozal Free Zone dwindled.
This was due to, changes in administration, increased competition on the Mexican side, changes in the social fee regime, and inadequate infrastructure, particularly in the northern side of the zone. When we assumed office in November 2021, we were confronted with a Free Zone that was inaccessible to the public, burdened by insurmountable debt, and plagued by neglected facilities, all amidst a menacing pandemic. The existing road from the Santa Elena bridge to the Corozal Free Zone was deteriorating and had limited capacity, obstructing the seamless flow of goods and people. As stewards of this project, we took on the responsibility of finding a solution. We were immensely grateful and fortunate to initiate a collaboration with CABEI early in 2021.
The contract for this significant undertaking was awarded to RJB Construction Co. Ltd. through an open tender process. This transparent and competitive bidding process ensures that the most qualified and capable contractor is selected for the job.
It’s noteworthy that the entire procedure was conducted with the highest standards of integrity and in adherence to established protocols. The Contractor General, a key oversight authority, has given his non-objection to the entire procurement process
The awarded contract is valued at 2.9 million Belize dollars, representing a substantial investment in our community’s infrastructure. This funding reflects a commitment from the government to prioritize the development and accessibility of the Corozal Free Zone, recognizing its pivotal role in our economic landscape.
The undertaking is poised to stimulate financial increase by enhancing the accessibility of the Corozal Free Zone. A nicely maintained and current right of entry to the street will appeal to new and existing buyers, create jobs, and contribute extensively to the local financial system.

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