Santiago Free Zone Corporation – CZFS: Loosens the Bonds, Creating Growth for the North Region & the Country

Santiago Free Zone Corporation (CZFS in Spanish) is a leading national socio-economic development consortium which prides itself on delivering excellence and innovation.

Founded on April 21, 1974, it is the administrative body of the Corporate Campus, the Victor Espaillat Mera Industrial Park (PIVEM in Spanish) and, for more than four decades, promoter of important projects that generate employment, stimulating the growth of the city of Santiago, the northern region and the country as a whole.

Santiago Free Zone Corporation is in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo

Over the past few years, the Corporate Campus has incorporated support institutions that bolster the comprehensive services offered to the large community of investors that establish themselves in the park. It promotes efficient operational management and growth through talent management, recruitment and selection through CEGESTA; professional training projects supported through Capex; medical attention with high quality standards in MĒDICA; financial support provided by Cooperativa La Aurora; and a Fire Station at the service of both the PIVEM companies and the different communities that surround the park.

Changes promoted through the corporation’s different Five-Year Master Plans have designed the profile of an active and involved institution, with strong participation in projects for development and welfare, which are rooted in the park’s people.

Sustainability, excellence and integrity are the main values that rule its actions, in line with competitiveness, the promotion of socioeconomic development, profitability, environmental protection, professional training and productivity of the various sectors.

Santiago Free Zone Corporation main operating principles:

  • Respect, protection and advocacy of human rights
  • Sustainability
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Fostering the generation of high-quality jobs.


Based on almost five decades of experience in industrial development, the Victor Espaillat Mera Industrial Park, where more than 80 Free Zone companies operate, is a competitive facility renowned for its constant innovation. It is orientated towards productivity, competitiveness and the collective well-being of the companies, employees and the surrounding communities.

PIVEM covers nearly two million square meters. The infrastructure features tailor-made designs, led by CZFS’s planning and development and engineering departments.

The expansion of the ark continued in 2020 with the construction of three new eco-industrial buildings, which added 240,000 square feet to the production for export area. These buildings are now occupied by the Swedish Match (Tobacco Manufacturing) and Boombah (Textile Manufacturing), with a joint investment and an important economic share.

As part of the park’s value offer, it features a high-capacity wastewater treatment plant, an electric power sub-station, rooftop solar panels, as well as state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure and fiber optics throughout the entire perimeter, which are part of PIVEM’s services.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and in order to strategically respond to the situation, the CZFS Emergency Committee was created. Measures were adopted and shared to safeguard the health of all the employees of the productive community, as well as to provide support and follow-up for the safe reintegration of work and the sustained restart of the companies.

The corporation also granted the companies financial relief to alleviate burdens, preserve jobs, and redirect efforts to remain in operation, helping to continue boosting the national economy.

Subsequently, the CZFS COVID-19 Compliance Committee was created to ensure compliance with the protocol established by CZFS, as well as with guidelines and measures established by the Ministry of Health and the WHO.


The Innovation and Professional Development Centre is a specialised training venue for entrepreneurship and professional development through training, knowledge transfer and networking. It is an innovative concept to foster talent, professional skills and competitiveness. Capex designs and develops important entrepreneurship and innovation projects for Santiago, the northern region and the country.

The academy, installed within PIVEM, deployed an innovative educational programme using technology in 2020, connecting diverse audiences in an attractive offer for companies, professionals and the entrepreneurial community.

Capex’s virtual value proposition received an admirable scale of engagement from those who were already familiar with the institution and others who joined its various digital classrooms. In 2020 alone, over 14,200 people connected and participated in its training activities.

La Aurora Co-operative

This is the financial and social support wing of PIVEM’s workforce. Despite 2020’s uncertainties, CoopLaAurora’s members confirmed their confidence in the co-operative by increasing their savings and investments.

In addition, the CoopLaAurora mobile app was launched in 2020, with online information on the products available, and assets grew above the average for the financial sector.

CoopLaAurora promotes economic solidarity. It facilitates the acquisition of financial services and products to improve members’ standard of living, as well as education for the management of personal finances.


CEGESTA is specialised in talent management with experience in industrial sites. It is focused on providing the tools and solutions to facilitate a successful recruitment process.

Before the pandemic, CEGESTA had more than 400 open positions, distributed among 25 companies from PIVEM and from companies located outside the park.

After the reopening, the centre was able to reposition itself, meeting recruitment requirements for the two largest companies in the Park, Swedish Match and Swisher Dominicana, among 13 other companies in the PIVEM and 14 in the local market.


MĒDICA provides quality preventive health and outpatient care to the PIVEM’s labour force and families living in the western Santiago Municipal District, and surrounding areas.

The centre was able to position itself as a real option for the comprehensive management of the health of companies and patients in general, as well as people affected by Covid-19 in 2020.

Regarding Coronavirus, MĒDICA has remained current, performing tests and screening in accordance with appropriate protocols, and providing adequate follow-up to each patient. Currently the services of IgG / IgM Rapid Tests and AG Antigens are offered, with results in no more than three hours; and PCR, with results in 48 to 72 hours.

New specialties, imaging and outpatient services will be added in 2021, such as: Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Diabetology, Nutrition, Orthopaedics, Gastroenterology and Nephrology. In addition, a hemodialysis treatment and CAT scan area will be added to complete the services with state-of-the-art equipment that allows for a proper and high-precision diagnosis.

Santiago Free Zone Corporation Firefighters Division

The board of directors is responsible for ensuring that the emergency unit is kept at the forefront of the field, in order to ensure the physical integrity of the park’s infrastructure and the surrounding communities. The in-house fire station makes a significant contribution to mitigating risks to factories, employees and the community, with high-level equipment and qualified personnel who are 100 percent service-orientated.

Projects promoted under each pillar of the Santiago Free Zone Corporation broad Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme enable a large number of people, from the ark’s employees to their families and residents of nearby communities, to benefit from opportunities that strengthen their wellbeing and provide Santiago and the Northern Region with increasingly competitive human capital. The CSR plan is built around four main pillars: Education, Environment, Health and Entrepreneurship.

Tags assigned to this article:

You may have an interest in also reading…

Full Steam Ahead: MTR Boss Jacob Kam Chak-pui Puts Company Right on Track

When Jacob Kam Chak-pui joined MTR Corporation in 1995, the company operated three railway lines serving the major population centres

Access Granted: Simple Policies in a Complicated Financial Ecosystem

The Access Bank UK is a Nigerian success story that has passed the $100m milestone for three years in a

Strategy, Structure, Shared Purpose: There are Rules to Protecting Family Wealth

Bedrock Group partner Maurice Ephrati outlines his philosophy for family governance and next-generational financial education. The key ingredients for successful