Cuba Publishes Laws to Attract Foreign Investment to Mariel

The “Mariel project” is one of the biggest hopes of the government of Raul Castro to revive the island’s ailing economy.

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban authorities issued new rules on Tuesday to regulate the special economic zone around the port of Mariel, west of the capital, seeking to boost foreign investment and the nation’s depressed economy.

The establishment of the Mariel Special Development Zone seeks to “attract foreign investment ” and “generate exports and encourage import substitution,” according to the text published in the Official Gazette of Cuba.

The government of President Raul Castro had already announced last Thursday the approval by the Council of State of the new laws for Mariel.

The laws grant tax benefits starting November to companies working in the economic zone around the port, about 465 square kilometers. Among them are a tax exemption on their labor force, and on profits, for a ten year period.

Companies operating in the area do not have to pay taxes on sales or services for the first 12 months of operations. Also planned is the duty-free entry of “means, equipment and goods imported for purposes of investment in the area,” the statement said.

The legal framework for the special economic zone enter into force on November 1, states the Official Gazette .

The port of Mariel, which shot to fame by the mass exodus of Cubans to the United States in 1980, has been for recent years in the enlargement process. The mega-project situated about 45 kilometers west of Havana is being carried out largely with financial support from Brazil.

The government of Dilma Rousseff participates in the construction projects with a credit of US $680 million dollars. The “Mariel project” is one of the biggest hopes of the government of Raul Castro to revive the island’s ailing economy.

“In this territory will create all the necessary infrastructure for the promotion of industry and foreign investment “, announced in early 2012 an official regarding construction of the industrial area between the bays of Mariel and Cabañas.

According to initial plans, the future commercial terminal should have a capacity of receiving three million containers a year.

3 thoughts on “Cuba Publishes Laws to Attract Foreign Investment to Mariel

  • Sort of makes all those billboards in Cuba that read “Socialismo o Muerte” typographically incorrect. They should read “Socialismo ES muerte”.

  • but isn’t this just the system you’re championing, Moses? The difference being that, like Western Europe (and UNLIKE the U.S.) Cuba will keep in place an array of social services: socialized medicine, free K-12 and beyond education, subsidized transporation, housing, etc. In additon to such mixed capitalism/socialism system, however, the Revolutionary Government should also encourage replication of such successful cooperative enterprises as Spain’s Mondragon, etc.

  • The Castros are ‘updating’ the socialist model by taking lessons directly from an Economics 1A college textbook using Keynesian microeconomic principals. By encouraging foreign businessmen to run factories which import the raw materials, assemble the finished product, then export the product to a foreign buyer, the sole purpose of the Cuban worker is to ‘exploit’ the wage differential between the salary of a Cuban worker and the wage paid in the businessman’s country. It is the Vietnam model plain and simple. Walks like a capitalist, quacks like a capitalist…

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