Public Clarification: National Congress Authorized the Establishment of Próspera ZEDE
Untruthful narratives have recently circulated which state that the National Congress did not authorize the establishment of Próspera ZEDE. We clarify to the general public that these false narratives only contribute to misinforming the population and generating a climate of legal insecurity in the country.
For the establishment of Próspera ZEDE, each and every one of the steps expressly established in the Constitution of the Republic and the Organic Law of the ZEDEs were followed. In 2013, the National Congress of the Republic declared with a qualified majority that the real estate where Próspera operates is subject to the Employment and Economic Development Zones (ZEDE) regime. Article 39 of the Organic Law of the ZEDE establishes that “In compliance with the provisions of Articles 10 and 329 of the Constitution of the Republic, areas with low population density of the municipalities located in the Departments contiguous to the Gulf of Fonseca and the Caribbean Sea are declared subject to this regime.”
All the properties incorporated into Próspera ZEDE are located in Departments contiguous to the Gulf of Fonseca and the Caribbean Sea and are areas of low population density, in accordance with the formula established in the sixth paragraph of article 329 of the Constitution of the Republic and the opinion issued by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) on August 31, 2015.
Once the properties were declared subject to the ZEDE regime by the National Congress, the owners proceeded to incorporate their lands through the formalization of a Notarial Declaration of Manifestation of Will, which was later registered in the Special Registry of the ZEDE, thus complying with the procedure legally established in articles 6, 26 and 39 of the Organic Law. In subsequent acts, the Executive Branch recognized the existence and authority of Próspera as an Employment and Economic Development Zone, allowing us to attract more than 100 million dollars in foreign direct investment.
The role of the National Congress in the creation of the ZEDEs consisted of approving an Organic Law and declaring which properties are subject to this special regime, thus complying with the provisions of the sixth and ninth paragraphs of article 329 of the Constitution. The following steps in the organization of Próspera ZEDE (such as giving it a name, defining its governance structure, establishing its internal regulations, attracting investment and building infrastructure, among others) correspond by constitutional mandate to internal authorities and investors.
The tenth paragraph of article 329 of the Constitution establishes: “The authorities of the areas subject to special regimes have the obligation to adopt the best national and international practices to guarantee the existence and permanence of the appropriate social, economic and legal environment to be competitive at the international level.”
We reiterate our commitment to fulfill our constitutional mandate to enable safe spaces such as Próspera ZEDE, which are highly competitive and attractive for the national and foreign investment that Honduras needs to generate more and better opportunities in our country.
JORGE CONSTANTINO COLINDRES
TECHNICAL SECRETARY OF PRÓSPERA ZEDE
ZONE OF EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS