Foreign trade minister touring Brasil to pitch Mariel
CUBA STANDARD — Continuing his global road show for the Mariel Special
Development Zone, Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca is heading a
Cuban delegation that is touring Brazil’s industrial hot spots to draw
attention of manufacturers to what is Cuba’s most ambitious economic
development project in half a century.
Malmierca’s visits to São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul and Rio
de Janeiro come after Mariel presentations to business executives in
Hanoi, Beijing and Moscow. On a lower level, Cuban embassies around the
globe have been promoting the Mariel Zone as well.
Brazil is funding the $900 million construction of a container hub at
the Port of Mariel, 30 miles west of Havana. The port is the core of the
180-square mile export zone to which Cuba is trying to attract high
value-added companies, offering tax breaks and other incentives.
One Brazilian company, glassmaker Fanavid SA, has committed to opening a
plant in the Zone, according to Brazilian government officials. Another
one, bus maker Marcopolo, is reportedly considering a move to the Zone.
On Thursday, Malmierca and the Cuban delegation gave a presentation to
the Federation of Industries in the State of São Paulo (FIESP), the
heart of manufacturing in Brazil. The investment conditions at Mariel
are “very interesting from a cost standpoint,” said FIESP foreign
relations head Thomaz Zanotto during the event.
Cuba’s top targets are biotech, pharmaceutical, renewable-energy, IT,
telecom, tourism, food processing, packaging, and real estate
Malmierca started his Brasil tour with a visit to Brasilia Nov. 19,
where he gave Mariel briefings to ministry officials, as well as
executives of Brazil’s Foreign Chamber of Commerce, Banco do Brasil and
government development bank BNDES. The Mariel presentation in Brasilia
came after a meeting of the bilateral economic and trade commission,
which was presided by Malmierca and Brazil’s Development, Industry and
Trade Minister Ricardo Schaefer.
The Cuban delegation also used the opportunity to give a presentation of
Cuba’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.
Source: “Foreign trade minister touring Brasil to pitch Mariel « Cuba
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