Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca presented the Mariel Special Development Zone, an area of 465.4 square km located in the Caribbean nation’s western region. The minister gave details about the characteristics, legal conditions and potential sectors for investment.
Malmierca defined the initiative as a zone with special regimen and policies to promote sustainable economic development by attracting foreign investment and explained that the companies and activities allowed by Cuban laws and that use clean technologies that do not harm the environment will be protected.
He specified that two types of concessionary investors, national natural or juridical persons or users, foreign natural or juridical investors can establish themselves there.
The Cuban minister affirmed that the Mariel Development Zone offers a business atmosphere favorable for investing thanks to a well-defined legal framework, its location in the commercial center of Latin America and the Caribbean, the existence of a deep-water port with access for the most modern ships, a road and railroad infrastructure that connects the Zone with the entire country, as well as efficient communication networks.
He recommended to the businesspeople present at the fair that they invest in the sectors of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, food and agriculture industry, tourism and real estate companies, container and packaging industry, telecommunications and informatics, and investment in infrastructure.
Ana Teresa Igarza, general director of the office of the special zone, underlined that that office will see to the paperwork, applications and granting of permits through the single window policy in order to facilitate the procedures.
Regarding the employment variants, the official highlighted that an employment entity was created that will be responsible for attracting the workforce initially in the country’s western provinces, which will be made up by highly qualified personnel. Foreign citizens will be able to be employed if the investor requires it. Moreover, the wages will be defined by the businesspeople and the employment entity.
It was also announced that the Port of Mariel will be the center of the development zone with an integral focus covering six port terminals, an oil logistics base, shipyards, fuel supply and services against fires.