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Chilean business leaders keen to invest in Cuba’s special economic zone

Chilean business leaders keen to invest in Cuba’s special economic zone 2015-09-05 10:53:58

HAVANA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — Chilean business leaders Friday expressed an
interest in investing in Cuba’s special economic zone (SEZ) of Mariel, a
deep-water port being developed near the capital Havana.

Some 30 business leaders accompanying Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo
Munoz on his visit to the island nation toured the partially inaugurated
SEZ, located about 45 km west of the capital.

Munoz told reporters that the visit showed Chile’s “interest in
participating in the current transformations in Cuba,” Cuba’s Prensa
Latina news agency reported.

Economic reforms spearheaded by Cuban President Raul Castro will allow
Chile’s business sector “to invest, and generate jobs and prosperity” in
the Caribbean country, said Munoz.

The delegation showed interest in investing in a variety of sectors,
from aerial transport to food, sports, mining, agriculture,
pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, the news agency reported, adding the
Chileans’ initial goal for investment is to produce for the Cuban
domestic market and they aim to eventually export to third countries.

The SEZ is designed to become a major manufacturing and shipping hub in
the Caribbean, with a capacity to handle 800,000 20-foot equivalent unit
(TEU) containers a year, and post-Panamax cargo ships, ships that are
too large to fit through the Panama Canal.

During Munoz’s two-day visit that ended Friday, the two countries
signed, among other accords, a bilateral cooperation agreement between
Cuba’s international trade bank and Chile’s central bank.

In 2014, Chilean exports to Cuba, mainly foodstuffs, amounted to 36
million U.S. dollars, while it imported 6 million dollars worth of Cuban
cigars and rum.

Source: Chilean business leaders keen to invest in Cuba’s special
economic zone – Xinhua | –

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