REPORT #166 Jan 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

(e.g.: Barrow, Musa and Fonseca)

We know the major problem with development of Belize and self sufficiency. It is the political parties working from an Empire- colonial model. We've just replaced colonial officers with a political party clique serving greed and the richest in the nation. Can these native politicians submerge their ego's enough to learn some new tricks in governance for the benefit of the nation?

Up in Ladyville, you had the old Free Zone run by a centralized government in Belmopan. It is full of empty places and never got off the ground. The comparison with the Belmopan style of Constitutional national government is comparable.

Yet there is an example of another more successful model of governing in Belize. It is the Corozal Free Trade Zone. Traditionally, the old dogs in the political parties have been quick to protect their own personal goals and shown consistant resistance to political consensual risk. Yet the Corozal Free Trade Zone has introduced something new. And it is successful! Can we transpose that successfully to national and district governing?

While government run Ladyville is a failure, the Corozal Free Trade Zone is a success. What are the parameters? An elected CEO for one thing. No permits, or licenses another. No regulation or taxes another.

The Corozal Free Trade Zone is leading the National government and the retarded political parties by action, example and ideas. Can we adopt this to national development and self sufficiency? Free trade within a zone provides traditional obsolete colonial government in a small developing country, with a growing economic impact, without the usual backlash of fiefdoms, infighting, bureaucratic wars, and the never ending corruption scandals based on greed and influence.

The Corozal Free Trade Zone has about 150 companies and 650 jobs. Compare that to any government run program in Belize? Especially the self financing nature of the development, compared to the hundreds of millions of foreign loans attempting to do the same thing nationally in a centralized controlled manner by a political party. There are lessons here, but will the PUP and the UDP old dogs learn these new tricks?

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