KOICA, the Korean International Cooperation Agency, delivered its preliminary report on the feasibility of establishing ZEDEs in Amapala, Aliaza, and Nacaome in the department of Valle in southern Honduras. KOICA handed off the preliminary study to the Honduran government in New York Monday while they were attending the UN General Assembly. The feasibility study, which we previously have written about here, was delivered about 3 months late.
Robert Ordoñez, Minister of Public Works for Honduras, told the press that study suggests the development of world class port facilities in Amapala, located on the island of El Tigre in the Gulf of Fonseca. It suggests a free trade zone be developed in Alianza to provide warehousing and logistical support for shipments coming through Amapala. It likely also requires Amapala to be connected by a bridge with the mainland for the movement of goods to the logistical area. In Nacaome, the Koreans suggested developing an agricultural research center. Amapala and Alianza qualify as low population density coastal regions not requiring approval of the local populations under the ZEDE law.
In August of this year the Honduran Supreme Court rejected a case brought by more than 50 Non-governmental organizations challenging the constitutionality of the ZEDE law.
Designs are expected to be finalized for all three projects by March of next year. Parallel to the development of the designs, KOICA and Honduras will be holding conversations with the Interamerican Development Bank about financing the projects.