The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, signed decrees for the creation of special economic zones (SEZs) during the special work session dedicated to the creation of SEZs.
In the meeting, held in the Boyacá Hall of Miraflores Palace, the president was accompanied by Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez, and the National Superintendent of Special Economic Zones Johann Álvarez Márquez.
President Maduro first signed the decree for the activation of the Special Economic Zone of Tortuga Island and appointed Rear Admiral Aníbal Coronado Millán as the authority.
President Maduro stated that the Organic Law of the Special Economic Zones will “allow us to advance in the construction of a new model to perfectly integrate the economic, productive, and technological capacities of the different regions of the country.”
The president said that after signing the decree, a business roundtable will be opened so that investors can be pioneers in the construction of “one of the most important projects in the Caribbean and Latin America”.
“The secret weapon that is tourism, Tortuga Island is our nuclear weapon, our secret weapon,” he said, inviting public and private national and international investors to present their projects to participate.
He said that Tortuga Island already has an advanced tourism project, prepared by an Italian company, which will be a starting point for building this Caribbean tourist pole, with an island that is larger than Aruba.
“It is untouched, ready for sustainable development,” the president said. “The project is ready, now, with the signing of the decree, we will proceed with the roundtable of tourism investors, so that they can be pioneers in the construction of this most important project today in the Caribbean and Latin America.”
He then signed the decree to activate the Special Economic Zone of Paraguaná and designated Sergio Luis Quintero as the authority.
“Paraguaná is an important logistic, port, airport, and tourist center,” he highlighted.
He called upon investors to present a roadmap for development of technological industries, wind farms, solar energy, and the production of sea products, in addition to the tourism industry.
President Maduro also signed a decree activating the Aragua Military Special Economic Zone, where he appointed General Rosas Colón as the authority.
This Special Economic Zone has an area of more than 400 hectares.
“This Special Military Economic Zone has to achieve the maximum level of technological development to create knowledge and impact the quality of life of Venezuelans,” the president instructed.
“We have been working hard to create a platform. We are not starting from zero,” he said, highlighting the geographical advantages of the area for having access to the capital and to the main port, Puerto Cabello, as well as the gateway to the plains.
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López commented that work has already been started by the military engineering board and the military scientific council “to establish productive chains: plastics, metals, textiles, and footwear are the first areas that are being worked on.”
“Currently war is practically taking place in the air, and drones are a fundamental piece of military strategy, for which the best experts in the world are required,” added President Maduro.
President Maduro also decreed the activation of La Guaira SEZ, whose authority will be Marcos Meléndez Mata, as announced by President Maduro.
The La Guaira SEZ focuses on three main areas: agrotourism and fishing, industrial and logistic services, and tourism and real estate.
The governor of La Guaira, Alejandro Terán, highlighted the strategy of the Organic Law of Special Economic Zones through the deployment of the productive forces for defeating the illegal blockade imposed by the US and the EU that has severely affected the Venezuelan economy. He also highlighted the importance of declaring the Venezuelan central coast as the country’s economic axis, since it has the country’s main port and airport.
Terán applauded the incorporation of public and private capital to this economic zone, which has already left its mark in the state.
“Since the president signed the decree of the Special Economic Zones, many private businesses showed interest in investing their capital in different projects in different economic areas,” said the governor.
He added that tourism, construction, and commerce have been some of the busiest economic sectors in the state, generating numerous stable and well-paid jobs in the region. “We are going for more, because La Guaira SEZ will also benefit Caracas and part of Miranda state,” he said.
The authority of the La Guaira SEZ, Marcos Meléndez Mata, emphasized the importance of SEZs together with other special zones to establish a harmonious development of the entire national economy. He pointed out the potential of the port and airport of La Guaira to contribute to the dynamization of the local and national economy.
President Maduro made a call to entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors, stating that “it is time, it is the moment, here is the institutional, legal framework, public policies, and the real potential to diversify the economy.”
“We have an economic model that is absolutely pertinent to the idiosyncrasy of Venezuela, with the resources of Venezuela, with plans, with equipment, and we have been cultivating a powerful alliance with the productive sectors of the country,” he said.
The president also made reference to the funds released by the Portuguese bank Novo Banco, which he stated will be invested in social and public services.
“We will not give up in our mission to recover the assets of the Venezuelan people that have been stolen and seized from us,” he said, referring to international banks and financial institutions around the world that froze Venezuelan State accounts following the US sanctions regime. “The amount recovered will go to guarantee the social rights and public services of the people.”
What are the special economic zones
The SEZs of Venezuela are defined as a “geographic delimitation that has a special and extraordinary socioeconomic regime, where strategic economic activities will be carried out in accordance with the objectives established in the Economic and Social Development Plan of the Nation.”
Among its fundamental purposes is the development of a new national productive model, which seeks to diversify and increase exports, innovate processes in order to promote productive chains and international markets, and to strengthen the industrial apparatus and promote the substitution of imports.
Among the incentives established by the Organic Law of the Special Economic Zones are the following:
- Tax refunds that may reach up to 100% in the first 6 years depending on the export activity.
- Tax refunds for import of goods, equipment and construction materials for the SEZ.
- Tax refunds for import of raw material required for the industrialization of the SEZ.
- Export vocation to generate wealth and strengthen the productive apparatus.
- Developing the secondary sector: industrialization.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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