We know that most Belizeans love to save their pennies and travel abroad to do a little bit of shopping, in particular for products and favorites that are not available here in Belize. We either take a short hop to nearby Chetumal, Merida or Cancun in Mexico or a more expensive flight to the U.S. to splurge a bit more cash. But what if some of these American products come closer to home; will Belizeans embrace these authentic products by shopping at a new world-class shopping center in the country?
According to a press release from DHS Holding Co. in Nashville, USA, the company has begun the first phase of development of the Cenote Falls Shopping Center, a new world-class and family-friendly shopping experience slated for development on a recently acquired 40-acre parcel of land in Belize. This phase will include negotiations with major retailers and restaurant chains.
In the release, Charlie Barrett, president of DHS, stated, "I'm very excited that Mike Rohling, our CEO, will be working to bring in retailers such as McDonald's, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, and other fine stores."
Rohling said, "According to our research, nearly $100 million crosses the border from Belize into Mexico each year due to Belize citizens taking advantage of retail options not currently available in Belize. For the first time, Belize citizens will be able to have the EPZ shopping experience in their own country, and those dollars will remain in the Belize economy."
This EPZ is Belize’s Export Processing Zone, a program that attracts both local and foreign investments to boost production for export markets with a focus on manufactured goods and non-traditional agricultural products. This is located adjacent to the Corozal Free Zone and Belize’s Boarder Management at the Belize/Mexico Border.
In a letter addressed to DHS, Minister of Economic Development Erwin Contreras stated, "My government welcomes investment that will contribute to the economic and social development of Belize with the ultimate goal of bringing improvement in the quality of life of all our citizens."
He went on to say, "My government is very much aware that a development of this magnitude will have a very positive impact on our local economy and therefore we will work with your company to ensure its successful implementation. It is most important to us that your efforts will bring employment and growth to Belize. We look forward to a fruitful relationship with your company."