Free Trade Zones can be defined as labor manufacturing centers which involve the importation of raw materials or components and the exportation of goods and services. The basic objectives of Free Trade Zones are to enhance foreign exchange income, develop export-oriented industries and to generate employment opportunities. (http://www.zonalibremerida.gob.ve/)
In Mérida - Venezuelathere is an important Free Trade Zone: the Cultural, Scientific and Technological Free Zone (ZOLCCYT by its acronym in Spanish), also known as the Free Zone, a special fiscal regime that offers profits as a free commercial zone and port. The ZOLCCYT main aim is to promote the country progress and the scientific production of technology and cultural goods and services, providing tributary customsexemptions and benefits to both entrepreneurs and direct customers. (http://www.zonalibremerida.gob.ve/)
My internship in the Cultural, Scientific and Technological Free Zone of Mérida State (ZOLCCYT) mainly consisted in putting into practice the knowledge and experience acquired as a Modern Languages student at the University of Los Andes. My main task consisted of writing a proposal withimportant information for investors and business promoters of the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean Islands, both in Spanish and in English.
The purpose of my proposal was to present the ZOLCCYT as a privileged area, not merely of nationwide interest but of worldwide one. The information of the proposal promoted the ZOLCCYT as an enterprise which supports private investment and business developmentin the cultural, scientific and technological sectors.
This report is divided into four parts: the first part presents the profile of the Host Institution. This part offers a brief description of the ZOLCCYT, the historical aspects of the institution, the flowchart showing my hierarchical status in the organization; I also explain the activities carried out by the Department of GeneralOperations, the office where I worked. The second part consists of the nature of my internship. In this section, I describe what my internship was about, the specific activities I had to undertake as well as their purposes. Then, the third part presents a reflection essay. It illustrates the working conditions I was under during the twelve week period and the importance of my performance during thosedays. In addition, in this essay, I also present a critical analysis of my internship, particularly my personal and professional growing and the difficulties I encountered during my internship and how I solved them. I will furthermore give my opinion about the internship and refer to my future plans based on the work accomplished throughout my internship. Lastly, I present some conclusions and suggesta few recommendations to the School of Modern Languages at the University of Los Andes and to the Host Institution, the Cultural, Scientific and Technological Free Zone of Mérida State, in order to contribute to the quality of future internships.
Profile of the host institution
The Cultural, Scientific and Technological Free Zone of Mérida State (ZOLCCYT) was created by the BolivarianRepublic of Venezuela National Executive in June 1995 as a strategic instrument of fiscal policy and foreign trade. From an institutional point of view, the ZOLCCYT is a state-owned institution which acts as a Head Office assigned to the Ministry of Finance as a Decentralized Administrative Unit.
The Special Fiscal Regime established by the ZOLCCYT exempts investors from custom payments. Investorsdedicated to the design, production, diffusion, commercialization and distribution of cultural, scientific and technological (CST) goods and services get reduced importation and exportation taxes.
The ZOLCCYT offers many profits which make possible the establishment and growth of companies such as: a) the reduction of costs and commercialization of the products; b) the creation of connected...