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freezonebanner2Today six Corozal Free Zone Chamber of Commerce Directors contested the four seats available to represent the CFZCC membership on the Corozal Free Zone Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors at the Corozal Free Zone consists of five members of the public sector and four of the private sector who play an important role in the development of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone.

Raul Rosado – Chief Executive Officer CFZ

“For us it has always been important since our inception in 2008 to have the private sector participate in the decision making that benefits the Free Zone and investments and companies themselves, for us is like a check and balance where the private sector and the public sector can work together to move forward, to create policies that will better off the investment atmosphere in the Free Zone and to set up plans and projects for the future.”

According to president of the Chamber of Commerce in the Corozal Free Zone, Kishore Makhijani, all 15 directors that form the Chamber of Commerce were eligible to contest the election but at the end only Gulab Sharma, Anil Hotchandani, Joe Romero, Satish Punjabi, Kenny Vanjanie and Kishore Makijanie threw their hat into the ring.

Kishore Makhijani – President Chamber of Commerce

“Chamber of Commerce on the other hand has its own by-laws, we have a fifteen member board and only from these fifteen the candidate could come up to represent the private sector on the CFZ administration so this year we have six candidates and there are only six candidates that are running for four posts and we have 98 companies for the member of the Chamber who are in good standing with the Chamber who be eligible to vote, the Chamber has a total of 193 but unfortunately only 98 are in good standing and according to the by-laws of the Chamber of Commerce in Corozal here at the Free Zone only those people who are in good standing will be allowed to vote.”

During the election process we spoke to three of the candidates who told us about their vision for the free zone.

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“Now Mr. Gulab what would be one of the major thing that could probably could assist the Corozal Free Zone in boosting up its regular sales?”

Gulab Sharma– Contestant

“Infrastructure, you see look at the streets here, we need to fix up the streets, fix up the infrastructure, because all the beautiful good looking cars they will never want to come in here and that is the main thing that will boost the infrastructure here in the Free Zone. That is a major issue to attract customer to come in here.”

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“If elected what are some of the main factors that you see that probably can make you as the member of the board of directors can make a change for the Corozal Free Zone?”

Anil Hotchandani– Contestant

“One of the biggest things that I think that I can take a little bit of credit for I will not take all of it was to convince the present administration and to push the current administration is to fix the infrastructure, government was initially not onboard to give us any funding but we dialogue with the Prime Minister who was full coming and he has helped and he is going to pay part of the building of the central structure, we have to compete with a better place like Chetumal, if you shop regularly in Chetumal our ambience here has to be better than Chetumal if not the same so that has to be achieved and fixing the infrastructure would give it a better boost in my opinion and that is what I intend to see for this to become a reality under my tenure.”

Joe Romero- Contestant 

“Infrastructure is very important because having a good infrastructure comparing it to Chetumal I think that will bring in more clientele to the Zone.”

While infrastructure is one of the main issues, one of the youngest contestants, Satish Punjabi, has a totally different vision for the Corozal Free Zone.

Satish Punjabi – Contestant

“The Free Zone over all I think is the livelihood for many people in the Zone not only for the investors but the worker and the people who are employed here, we indirectly employ 3000 people and we are talking about 22 million dollars being paid in salaries on a yearly basis and that kind of money we shouldn’t neglected and the future of the Zone is the future of the entire northern region of Belize and any little decision could affect the future of the Zone we all six candidates are good candidates and everybody has good ideas but we need to go up there as a unified group and having the same targets and my target would be that I want my Zone to last forever because there is a lot of money involve an a lot of lives involve in this.”

Today’s election was supervised by the Chief Executive Officer of the Corozal Free Zone Raul Rosado and his deputy CEO Andre Marin. At 4:00pm the last vote was cast and the counting begun.  At the end of the count Anil Hotchandani, Gulab Sharma, Kishore Makhijani and Satish Punjabi were elected to represent the private sector on the board of directors of the Corozal Free Zone.

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