Free Economic Zones in Latin America

At least four countries in Latin America have implemented special economic zones designed to encourage development.

These special zones with favorable economic liberties can be found in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and more recently Honduras.

In February of 2011, the legislature of Honduras created the legal framework to initiate special zones intended to be largely autonomous, with caps on maximum tax rates, drawing revenue from the lease of land.

Chile has a total of 3 economic zones,  In the desertous northern fringe of the nation, Iquique is a duty-free commercial port center. Just 183 miles north of Iquique, by car, sits  Arica which was granted special tax exemptions as part of a special initiative in 1958. Citroen, Peugeot, Volvo, Ford and General Motors all have factories in Arica. 2,395 miles to the south, lies Punta Arenas, which is Chile’s third special economic zone. In 2012, the government began plans for a fourth economic zone in Puerto Aisén, presumably due to the success of the first three economic zones.

365 miles west of Buenos Aires, General Pico is a landlocked city in the heart of Argentina with just 50,000 inhabitants. Yet, the town is recognized as a special economic zone, and is the only in the country of 40 million.

By far, the largest economic zone in Latin America can be found in the Brazilian city of Manaus, which boasts a population of over 2 million residents. Deep in the Amazon forest, the city had achieved vague legal status as an economic zone by February 2, 1960 in order to stimulate growth in the secluded and often underdeveloped, but by1967 the concept had been solidified, and legally spanned an area with a radius of 6,200 mi.

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