Cuba Trade Fair Showcases Mariel Port Project
HAVANA, Nov 4 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA) — The 31st Havana International
Trade Fair opened Sunday with the focus on Cuba’s new Mariel Port
special development zone in a bid to attract more foreign investment.
About 1,400 companies from more than 60 countries are attending this
year’s fair, making it the largest edition in the past 11 years, with
the greatest number of exhibitors from Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, South
Korea, Panama and Germany, organisers said.
The week-long fair, which runs till Saturday, features the presentation
of new products, including three types of rum and cigars, but the
central attraction is the Mariel Port, which is poised to become one of
the largest container shipping port in the Caribbean after an expansion
of the Panama Canal is completed in 2015.
Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca is
scheduled to give a speech Tuesday touting the benefits of investing in
the port development zone, which offers companies tax breaks and other
incentives to establish production operations there.
In recent weeks, Malmierca has been touring Vietnam, China and Russia to
promote Cuba’s new investment opportunities. Brazil, which largely
bankrolled the Mariel Port project, has voiced its interest in investing
in the development zone located on Cuba’s Mariel Bay, 45 kilometres west
Havana decided to build the new port after it came to the conclusion in
2009 that the Bay of Havana could not be expanded to accommodate larger
ships that will begin passing through the Panama Canal in 2015.
The project was launched in 2010 as a Cuba-Brazil joint venture with an
investment of US$900 million. The first 700- metre stretch of dock is
scheduled to be ready in December and to be officially inaugurated by
Cuban President Raul Castro and his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff
in January 2014.
Source: “BERNAMA – Cuba Trade Fair Showcases Mariel Port Project” –