Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Chetumal free zone status extended to stimulate the regional economy

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has extended until 2030 Chetumal’s status as a free economic zone.

Located just north of Mexico’s border with Belize, the Quintana Roo capital has been a free zone since January 2021.

Chetumal is located near the border with Belize. (Programa Destinos México)

A presidential decree published in the federal government’s official gazette earlier this week extended until Sept. 30, 2030, fiscal incentives including an import tax exemption for goods entering the municipality of Othón P. Blanco, where Chetumal is located.

The decree also outlines a range of other tax benefits for businesses located in Chetumal.

At his morning press conference on Friday, López Obrador said that consumers will be able to buy “goods from all over the world” at “a very low price” in Chetumal, “as was the case before.”

Chetumal “used to be so important from a commercial point of view that people from the entire southeast went there to buy,” he said.

From 1934 until the introduction of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Chetumal was located in its own special economic zone.

Quintana Roo Governor Mara Lezama took to the X social media platform on Friday to thank López Obrador for “making Chetumal and Othón P. Blanco a free zone.”

“This decree adds to the determined work [we have done] to reactivate the economy and continue returning the shine to the capital of our state,” she wrote.

In an earlier post, Lezama noted that eligible companies with annual income below 50 million pesos (US $2.9 million) will be exempt from paying Mexico’s value added tax (IVA), income tax (ISR) and “taxes related to importation.”

“This stimulus will reactivate the economy of our capital, turning it into an epicenter of development and wellbeing in the south-southeast of Mexico,” she wrote.

Among the beneficiaries of the fiscal incentives will be tenants of a “well-being market” that is set to be established in Chetumal.

The Tianguis del Bienestar Yum Kaax, which was first announced last September, will accommodate retail businesses selling duty-free imported goods across approximately 14,000 square meters, according to reports. It will also have a larger section which could house vendors of fresh produce, offices, a hotel, warehouses and even light industry, El Economista said.

With reports from El Universal, La Jornada, Infobae and El Economista

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