Cuba Encourages National and Foreign Investments in Mariel

Havana, May 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban enterprises will now be able to take more advantage from the opportunities for businesses in the Special Development Zone of Mariel (ZED) in the west of Cuba, said Ana Teresa Igarza, ZED general director Thursday.

‘Up to now, foreign companies are ahead as users of ZED, but we are also interested in investments made by national enterprises, independently and in alliance with foreign firms,’ said the Cuban expert.

Igarza said this in a commercial convention which will finish Friday, after 5 days of sessions, with the participation of foreign businessmen, officials and experts from more than 10 nations.

There are now 24 companies operating in Mariel ZED, of which 14 are 100 percent foreign capital, 6 are joint ventures and only 4 are Cuban businesses.

After three years of work, Igarza evaluated that ZED is registering discrete progress, but still wants to foster and encourage integral projects that allow to substitute imports, foster export of national products with a high Added Value and generate many jobs.

By now, one of the fundamental results is that we were able to insert Mariel ZED into the vision of the international and national market, Igarza added.

With an area of 465.4 square kilometers, ZED has planned its development by stages, and now, is concentrated in the so-called Sector A, close to the Bay of Mariel, with 9 percent of the total surface.

Sector A, she explained, has logistic services, biotechnology, pharmaceutical products and up-to-date manufacture items as pillars, with priority on the sectors of food distribution, packaging, materials and technologies for construction, steel transformation and consuming goods.

ZED is now progressing on the creation of basic and auxiliary infrastructures, railroad tracks, use of the Internet, aqueducts and other aspects, at a cost of 300 million dollars.

The Zone has a modern terminal for containers, designed and equipped to receive the Neo Panamax ships, carrying large containers.


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