By: Alonso Urrutia
President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the decree by which the first three special economic zones: Tapachula, Coatzacoalcos and Lázaro Cárdenas, will enter into operation with a scheme of fiscal incentives to capture foreign and national investments in the country’s south-southeast region. The purpose is to reverse the unequal development of this region with respect to the rate of growth in the country’s center and north.
“We are not going to permit that the history of the south-southeast continues to be marked by poverty, marginalization and inequality. The Special Economic Zones will be a parting of waters in the development of this most affectionate region. They will mark a before and an after.” He asserted that Mexico would apply a successful scheme in other latitudes so that the regions that lay behind the most and with the most poverty are incorporated into the development and have the same rate of economic growth as the rest of the country.
In these first three zones they foresee investments of at least 5 billion 300 million dollars in the next three years and the generation of 12,000 jobs, anticipated Peña Nieto, who also indicated that the transformation would not be easy or fast, because of which the period of consolidation would transcend his administration. Nevertheless, he vindicated that this model is a sowing “on fertile ground.”
“We want to set aside welfare policy, which, inside the social policy, only seeks to bring economic support that at times only alleviates or mitigates the condition of poverty, but doesn’t get to the bottom of it,” he pointed out.
During the event they announced investments of impresarios from Nuevo León in the Coatzacoalcos special economic zone, while Lakshmi Mittal, president of the administration council of Arcelor Mittal, anticipated destining a billion dollars to Lázaro Cárdenas metallurgy.
After observing a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the earthquakes, Peña Nieto defined the Special Economic Zones as a territorial demarcation in which there would be private conditions by means of a public policy that fights to capture investments and detonate industrial development. Starting with fiscal incentives and training incentives for the formation of human capital they seek that these regions have a big development potential.
The scheme will permit a deduction of 100 percent in the payment of the tax on rent in the first 10 years and one half in the following five, special treatment of the value-added tax that can even apply a zero rate, and a special customs regimen to enhance export and import.
The Treasury Secretary, José Antonio Meade, maintained that there is clarity in the federal government, but that there are matters pending with Chiapas: in the short term to surmount reconstruction of the damage provoked by the earthquakes and historic matters pending because: “We know that poverty is a challenge that we fight everyday to overcome; but we also have long term matters pending.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, September 29, 2017
Redacted and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee