Four specialists believe that the Special Economic Zone of Progreso will not come to be a reality in the end, despite the fact that it represents a potential development pole for the region.
According to them, the project of the Special Economic Zone of Progreso “is walking on a tightrope”. The new federal government, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has not yet taken concrete steps to make this initiative a reality.
Although important steps were taken for the plan to move on during the months of the Peña Nieto administration, four local specialists consider that if the current state administration and the business sector do not insist, the plan, which would be a vital development pole for the economy of Yucatan, could be in serious danger of vanishing in thin air.
José Antonio Loret de Mola (president of Coparmex)
“We consider that Yucatan has all the pre-established conditions for the SEZ. We have had the opportunity to talk with people from other countries, like India, where about five million people benefit from this type of activity in a universe of 1,100 million people. This project could be an enormous incentive to begin to transform the economy and the distribution of the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. The economic impact and the quality of life and well-being generated by that kind of economic activity could be very significant for the people of Yucatan. Thus, we need to make it happen.”
Raul Antonio Vela Sosa (International Relations expert and professor at UADY)
“The SEZ of Progreso is a fundamental issue. You have to rethink, defend the plan because it could even compete against an SEZ that AMLO already approved in the northern border, a strip of six states, 43 municipalities where the VAT (IVA) was lowered from 16% to 8%; income tax decreased from 30% to 20%; the minimum wage was increased to $ 176.78 pesos per day, and gasoline and electric rates were homologated to the US market.
It’s a big issue, it’s part of the new economic policy of the current federal administration, it’s a big economic zone all along the border.”
Gabriel Rodríguez Cedillo (UADY School of Economics)
“The declaration of the SEZ does not foresee the companies’ obligation to hire local labor and motivate young people to continue studying and avoid school desertion.
It is a collaboration exclusively between federal and state governments with the private initiative. It is not properly legislated, everything is up to the good will of the entrepreneurs and we know that when this happens, there is no certainty, as there is no certainty in the tax exemptions to which companies will be entitled.”
Álvaro Cano Escalante (Licenciado en Economía con Maestría en Economía y Administración UADY)
“The project of the Progreso SEZ as originally planned could trigger the state’s economy in an unprecedented way. We must insist on development poles of the state outside Mérida, in an area that makes it possible to take advantage of the labor force and make sure that the Yucatecans are incorporated into the development processes.
I think the Progreso SEZ is on a tightrope right now. The state government and businessmen would have to think about not discarding the project, but to restructure that idea, because those poles of development are needed.”
TYT Newsroom with information from yucatan.com.mx