09/03/13 - Cuba Standard (Tampa) - Bus company interested in Mariel manufacturing zone
CUBA STANDARD - Brazilian bus manufacturer Marcopolo may be interested
in using the Mariel special development zone (ZDE) for an assembly
operation, Cuba's trade attaché in Panama told Boletín Panamá in August.
Without mentioning potential locations, the head of Brazilian trade
promotion agency Apex said last year that Marcopolo, the third-largest bus
maker in the world, wants to open a manufacturing plant in Cuba. Marcopolo
executives last fall met with executives of state company Caisa, the
potential Cuban counterpart in a joint venture, according to the Apex
Marcopolo has assembly operations in Mexico and Colombia; Brazilian
competitor Busscar has been assembling microbuses in Cuba since the 1990s.
This is the second mention of a Brazilian company that may want to open
shop at the Mariel ZDE. The first Brazilian company that has committed to
set up shop in the zone is São Paulo-based Fanavid S.A. The glassmaker
will open a manufacturing facility to supply Cuba, Brazil and the Caribbean
region with architectural glass, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Brazil
said last year.
The port of Mariel, 30 miles east of Havana, is undergoing a $950 million
expansion that will make it one of the largest container hubs in the
Caribbean with a capacity of up to 1 million containers, eventually
replacing cargo operations at the Port of Havana. Next to the new container
hub is the Mariel Integrated Development Zone (ZDIM). The ZDIM is part of
Cuba's planned free-trade zones (ZDE), allowing companies to benefit from
less red tape, simplified customs procedures, and a highly skilled Cuban
workforce, are part of a government effort to convince more foreign
investors to produce high value-added goods and services for export in
Cuba. ZDIM S.A. is operated by a subsidiary of GAESA, the Cuban armed
forces' holding company.
To establish the free-trade zones, Cuba must change its foreign investment
law. The Brazilian government said last year it was assisting Cuba in the
creation of a legal framework for the special development zones; no new
regulations have been published yet.
"We have a lot of interest in cooperating in the definition of this model,
in order to bring in the biggest possible number of Brazilian companies,"
Brazil's Foreign Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel said last year while
touring the construction site.
Cuban Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca said during
the Mariel tour with Pimentel that his country is interested in "more
integration" between Cuban and Brazilian companies, according to the
Brazilian ministry of development, industry and foreign trade. "We are
offering technology transfer in exchange for investment in plants, and
Mariel could serve this purpose," Malmierca said, according to a press
release by the Brazilian ministry.
Brazil's Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) is
financing 85 percent of the port project, including the ZDE, with Cuba
funding the remaining 15 percent, according to the Brazilian government.
Brazilian construction giant Grupo Odebrecht is in charge of the execution;
Brazilian companies are providing practically all supplies and services for
Meanwhile, official daily Granma on Sept. 3 quoted a Brazilian diplomat in
Havana saying that President Dilma Rousseff is expected to visit Cuba for
the official opening of the port. A first segment of the port is expected
to be completed in December, but full operations aren't expected until
Original Source / Fuente Original:
CUBA-L FAIR USE NOTICE
This server contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of Cuba's political, economic, human rights, international, cultural, educational, scientific, sports and historical issues, among others. We distribute the materials on the basis of a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. The material is distributed without profit. The material should be used for information, research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ uscode/17/107.shtml.