01/31/13 - Agencia de Informacin Nacional (Habana) - Raul Castro and Luis Inacio Lula da Silva Tour Cuban Harbor Project
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 31 (ACN) Raul Castro, president of the Cuban Councils of State and
Ministers and visiting former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva toured on
Wednesday important projects underway at Mariel Harbor in the eastern part of the
Raul Castro described the works ad as the most complex project implemented in Cuba
ever in a harbor that is expected to become the island's main foreign trade door.
He said that the Mariel harbor is not only strategic for Cuba but also for the region
and he referred to the country's investment development and the update of the Cuban
The harbor project is the first investment to set up the country's first Special
Development Zone in a 465-square-kilometer area, which is in tune with the policy
adopted by the 6th Congress of Cuba Communist Party, said the general director of the
Mariel-DIP company Osvaldo Bravo.
Granma news paper explained that the investment will allow increasing exports, the
development of other projects using modern technology to significantly contribute to
the replacement of imports and the creation of new employment sources.
The Special Development Zone at the Mariel harbor will include important facilities,
such as a container terminal linked to other industrial areas.
Osvaldo Bravo recalled that the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015 will favor
maritime trade in the Caribbean area with bigger boats that will visit the Mariel
Port, thus improving operational levels.
Raul Castro and Lula da Silva were given a photographic album of the project
depicting different construction stages. The harbor strategy is considered an
example of cooperation for the future as it makes an important contribution to Latin
American and Caribbean integration.
Lula told reporters that the works are advancing at extraordinary pace and that he
hopes the harbor contributes to Cuba's development, particularly to the setting up
and development of an important industrial zone.
The project is being partially funded with credit line granted by the Brazilian
government and it is being implemented by an international economic association
between Cuba's Quality and Brazil's COI entities.
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