Formal Process Initiated to Assert Próspera ZEDE’s Rights
WASHINGTON, June 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Honduras Próspera Inc. (US-Delaware), the promoter and organizer of the innovative special economic zone known as Próspera ZEDE, and its affiliates St. John’s Bay Development Company LLC (US-Delaware) and Próspera Arbitration Center LLC (US-Texas), invited the Republic of Honduras to engage in consultations pursuant to the Investment Chapter of the Dominican Republic–Central America–United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).
Honduras Próspera and its affiliates have made significant investments in Honduras in reliance on the ZEDE legal framework and commitments made by Honduras under Honduran law, international treaties, and legal stability agreements. Among other things, Honduras has guaranteed legal stability for 50 years, and the company plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars more in the coming years. In order to draw new foreign investment to Honduras at a scale never-before-seen, Próspera ZEDE investors have been deploying a business model of delivering high integrity, high efficiency rule-of-law governance, which meets or exceeds U.S. anticorruption standards. This business model already sustains gainful employment for hundreds of local Hondurans and dozens of innovative Honduran and international businesses, and much more is planned for the years to come. Legal stability is a cornerstone of such large-scale, long-term investments.
Despite recent efforts to repeal the ZEDE legal framework, Próspera ZEDE continues to enjoy the rights it was previously granted because Honduras guaranteed legal stability for 50 years. Honduras Próspera expects the Government of Honduras to respect its legal stability commitments; and, accordingly, that the ZEDE legal framework will remain in full effect as to Honduras Próspera notwithstanding Honduras’ recent repeal efforts. A failure to uphold these commitments would constitute a breach of international and Honduran law, as well as wrongful and unfair treatment of Honduras Próspera. Moreover, it would send a message to the world that no foreign investment in Honduras is secure. Honduras Próspera has sent letters to the Government of Honduras underscoring this message, and inviting confirmation that Honduras Próspera’s rights will be respected. Despite repeated requests, there has been no response, while there have been misleading statements in the media that Próspera ZEDE will not be able to operate.
Honduras Próspera and its affiliates look forward to engaging in productive consultations with Honduras under the CAFTA-DR. It is not too late for Honduras to reaffirm its commitments, abide by the undertakings it made to attract foreign investment, and avoid an international investor-State arbitration. The legal team of Honduras Próspera Inc. stands ready, willing, and able to participate in good faith and hopes that Honduras will do the same.
Honduras Próspera is represented by the international law firm White & Case LLP.