A few months ago residents of the small community of Subteniente Lopez, a small Mexican community bordering the Belize/ Mexico Border demonstrated against the usage of the new Chactemal Bridge since most businesses were experiencing a decline in their daily sales. But the same cannot be said about the Commercial Free Zone which has seen an increase in visitors since the opening of the new bridge and the implementation of some new measures by management.

Screen_shot_2013-10-03_at_7.47.29_PMVictor Castillo – Reporting

David Ackierman - Director of the CFZ

“The movement of the new bridge has not affected in a negative side on the contrary it has brought more positiveness to the Corozal Free Zone. Why? Because we don’t have any bottle necks now as one could recall couple months ago prior to the new installations a thousand visitors would take as much as six hours returning back home and now a thousand visitors only takes minutes to return home so the congestion has reduced, the flow has been easier, the number of visitors I would say have increase a little because a lot of frustration was; you come to the Free Zone what time will you leave because of the queues that is not any more so, in a way I think the new bridge has brought, it is more beneficial than causing negative impacts to the Corozal Free Zone.”

With the implementation of the new entrance to the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, management has recorded an increase in visitors, thus translating into more employment opportunities for Belizeans.

The new entrance was opened to ease the flow of traffic but at the end of the day the initiative positively impacted the economy of the free zone.

David Ackierman - Director of the CFZ

“The board of directors came up with the conclusion that because of the dynamics of the flow of traffic we had to make certain adjustments so now both gates are used for entrances and exits for the tourists with the exception of the workers and the investors who enter in the Free Zone just in the old gate and that has helped, the flow I think has helped to wide spread the opportunity for business  even more so the front part which is connecting to the Princes Casino was an area that was affected because of the bottle necks before from traffic but because of the new bridge and the easy flow of two gates business is wide spread and is even for everybody now.”

According David Ackierman, Director of the free zone, with over 2000 workers the Corozal Free Zone is presently the largest employment agency in the north hence why management has to constantly be looking at new innovative ways to attract tourists.

David Ackierman - Director of the CFZ

“Right now we have a current employment figure of 2865 people employed as we speak today; it varies in the seasons because a lot of kids are being employed in the summer and in Christmas vacations and that would run up to over three thousand but permanently there is 2800 plus people employed.”

Security also plays an important role at the zone and with the Christmas Season rapidly approaching management has boost up its security.

David Ackierman - Director of the CFZ

“One of the major areas we implement every year is security, we double up on our security and we are in the process of installing cameras in the Free Zone, we have order IP cameras and security is a major issue, if you were able to assure your visitors safetyness they will come more, so that is one of the areas, there has been major increase in importation right now, good are entering the Free Zone and it is all Christmas material that is coming in now and so there is major, major increase in that so security is our prime, prime objective and I am certain that the business community will be able to offer extensive discounts over the season so that is major preparation.”

Also high on the agenda is the repairing of roads within the zone.

David Ackierman - Director of the CFZ

“We looking at we have engineering firm that is working for us Youngs’ Engineering from Belize and they are preparing a master plan for us and we hope that everything works out the infrastructural part of the Free Zone which in reference to street will be address next year so we believe slowly we are moving slowly but surely so we just need to keep on persisting and continue working hard as administrators and the Free Zone is her to stay and it is one of our major employers for people from the north.”

The Commercial Free zone was established back in 1994.

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