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Oct 26, 2018

Chamber Concerned About Chetumal Free Zone and Crime in the Old Capital

Nikita Usher

The designation of Chetumal as a commercial free zone to be established in early 2019 is good news for Belizean consumers, but is raising serious concerns in the local business community.  Not only will the cost of goods and services be reduced considerably across the Mexican border, but companies on this side of the Rio Hondo will be forced to compete with those rock bottom prices. The VAT is to go down by fifty percent from sixteen to eight percent.  It is a situation that is exacerbated by the fact that thousands of Belizean consumers are already flocking to Mexico ahead of the Christmas season.  The Chamber of Commerce is looking at ways to keep the dollars at home and will soon be making recommendations. The Chamber is equally concerned about crime and violence in Belize going into the annual shopping season.


Nikita Usher, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“Overall I think we’re in a temperament going into the Christmas season.  I can share with you that as a, on an economic basis right now it’s kind of tight and we are very much concerned on crime and we certainly want to look at some of the areas that we can assist with.  The issue that we sent off to the AG is not one to be taken as though we are in a quarrel mode.  We are actually trying to extend an olive branch for us to come to the table and let’s see what we can help with.  How can we assist in trying to make this process move forward because we felt that accountability and transparency from the onset ought to be dealt with in a more responsible way.  That is where we stand.”

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