Havana, Nov 6 – The minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, said today that the Mariel Special Development Zone in western Cuba would boost the economy by generating new business.
On the third day of the 31st Havana International Trade Fair, FIHAV 2013, Malmierca explained the characteristics, objectives and prospects of the zone as a new opportunity for foreign investment as part of the updating of the country’s economic model.
He told exhibitors at the fair that Mariel is the first zone with a special regime and policies to promote Cuba’s sustainable development.
A legal framework has been drawn up to correct previous experiences and errors regarding foreign investment, he said.
The SDZM was authorized by Decree-law 133, along with a set of rules and six complementary regulations.
Malmierca said that the development zone would interrelate with the local economy by using the most advanced technologies in export-oriented production and services to replace imports.
With 465.4 square meters west of Havana, the SDZM will have facilities where distributors and others who want to use the zone can become established as legal entities and individuals, as well as foreign firms in several modes of partnership, according to the pertinent regulations.
Malmierca said that advantages of the zone include the full protection and security of investors and authorization for the free transfer of financial resources and profits abroad without additional taxes or surcharges.
Its strategic location for extensive trade activity “Mariel is located near 32 major ports in the region, as well as rapid, centralized approval for handling imports and exports were two of the zone’s benefits listed by Malmierca.
Cuba expects to attract investment for medicine production and in the fields of biotechnology, renewable energy, agriculture, industry, tourism, real estate, telecommunications, computer sciences and general infrastructure, he said.
Source: Prensa Latina