HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 30 (acn) Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), described Mariel Special Development Zone (ZDEM by its Spanish acronym) as an attractive and necessary project for the region.After visiting these facilities, located 45 kilometers from Havana, the UN senior official highlighted in a press conference “the enormous progress of ZDEM and its port terminal, capable of assimilating already 250 000 containers of 20 feet (TEUs) “.
The mega project is being developed very quickly, Bárcena said when commenting on the impressions of her tour through ZDEM, an area that reflects the leading role Cuba grants today to foreign investment to boost key sectors, including agribusiness, biotechnology, energy and tourism.
Called to be the door of Cuba to the world, the enclave is aimed at encouraging comprehensive projects, promoting exports of domestic products of high added value and creating jobs, in constant coordination with the international trade and domestic economy.
Precisely Bárcena praised the projects being promoted in Mariel, which “are and will be of great interest to foreign businessmen, especially in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields, where Cubans have recognized progress,” she said.
About the containers terminal, officially inaugurated in January 2014 by the Presidents of Cuba and Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and Raul Castro, the executive of the international organization said she conceives it as “a major logistical hub of regional transfer “.
She stressed the potential of this modern facility for the redistribution of goods, to be able to operate a year up to 800 thousand 20-foot containers (TEUs) and ships of the post-Panamax generation.
Referring to the 118 Foreign Investment Law, she said it offers clear definitions of the sectors in which Cuba aims to promote the participation of foreign capital.
I believe that many entrepreneurs have interest in new opportunities that Cuba, a country that is changing a lot, she said, offers.
Bárcena, who was received last Wednesday by Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, expressed her satisfaction to accompany the island in the process of updating its economic model, which advances positively, she added.
Cuba today is experiencing a unique moment, different to other experiences in the world, as it seeks to modernize its model with the firm conviction to preserve the social progress achieved for more than 50 years, the executive secretary of ECLAC noted.