Exceeding all expectations, Paul Romer convinced the Honduran government to authorize a charter city. Now Romer is encouraging Canada to export its institutions. Here is Romer and Octavio Sanchez, chief of staff to the President of Honduras, writing in Canada’s most important newspaper, The Globe and Mail:
With the near unanimous support of its Congress, Honduras recently defined a new legal entity: la Región Especial de Desarrollo. A RED is an independent reform zone intended to offer jobs and safety to families who lack a good alternative; officials in the RED will be able to partner with foreign governments in critical areas such as policing, jurisprudence and transparency. By participating, Canada can lead an innovative approach to development assistance, an approach that tackles the primary roadblock to prosperity in the developing world: weak governance.
…According to Gallup, the number of adults worldwide who would move permanently to Canada if given the chance is about 45 million. Although Canada can’t accommodate everyone who’d like to move here, it can help to bring stronger governance to many new places that could accept millions of new residents. The RED in Honduras is the place to start.
…By participating in RED governance, Canada can make the new city a more attractive place for would-be residents and investors.
…The courts in the RED will be independent from those in the rest of Honduras. The Mauritian Supreme Court [!, AT] has agreed in principle to serve as a court of final appeal for the RED, but Canada can play a strong complementary role. Because the RED can appoint judges from foreign jurisdictions, Canadian justices could hear RED cases from Canada and help train local jurists.
Oversight, policing and jurisprudence are just a few of the ways in which Canada can help.
…The world does not need more aid. As the Gallup numbers show, it needs more Canada – more of the norms and know-how that lead to the rule of law, true inclusion and real opportunity for all.
Paul Romer is on an incredible run.