The International Fair of Havana usually is an opportunity to meet old colleagues, to expand our network, meet new and potential investors. This year, I personally think the event had other nuances, I had the chance to exchange experiences and thoughts from a different viewpoint, with people from abroad and residents in the island as well. Some of us could realize what lies ahead with the new Cuba’s economic model.
With 246 projects spread throughout the country, in 11 different sector of the Cuban economic and the Special Development Zone Mariel, was presented during International Fair of Havana (FIHAV 2014) the new portfolio opportunities for foreign companies interested in doing business in Cuba.
The Minister of foreign investment emphasized about guarantees offered by the new legal framework (Law 118/2014) In addition he referred to international agreements to which Cuba is party and its benefits to foreign investors
The business forum of Special Development Zone Mariel, not only unveiled the range of opportunities and procedure to settle business in the area, – either as a user or concessionaire-, it also gave us the opportunity to clarify our concerns. Worth noting the extensive and detailed explanation offered by some government officials related to some of the projects launched. There was even a moment to open questions.
The business portfolio for foreign investment contains 25 proposals for the Special Development Zone Mariel (5 in the food industry, 13 in biotechnology and drugs, 6 in industry of renewable energy and 1 in renewable energy)
Although there isn’t a company established in the area yet, I had the opportunity to chat with a few investors, who have applied for a license to operate in the Development Zone as well as with some of the Office staff in charge of the procedure for granting licenses to domestic and foreign investors within the area. I was wondering about the speed and complexity of the process, I asked about their experiences, as a result I got the same conclusion from both parties,… the process is clear and simple…, the biggest problem lies when the applicant makes the request; to date none of the applicants have submitted complete or correct documentation. According to statements made by the Director of the Office by the end of 2014 should be granted around 36 companies with the license to operate in the Zone.