A new deepwater sea port in Cuba funded by Brazil has been inaugurated. Such big foreign investment projects are a small number in the country. The port of Mariel, near the capital of Havana has been financed with $957m. The investment has been made in a location where Cuba hopes to attract more foreign investors. The upgrade of this port represents the biggest project in many years. Foreign investment in Cuba is limited for the past years.
The new port is a major step and is showing the investors that there is nothing scary in the country with the United States economic embargo. The port has now a new container terminal upgraded for larger ships sailing through the Panama Canal. The port Mariel has been inaugurated by the two presidents of Brazil and Cuba. The project becomes the first container terminal port in the Caribbean with the needed capacity to integrate with the inter-oceanic logistical chain.
This project is showing optimism for the future of the socialist Cuba according to the president of the country. The container terminal has the necessary infrastructure. There are rail and highway support network.
Brazil financed most of the project with the Brazilian development bank BNDES and it was finished by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. The port Mariel will replace Havana as the country's most important port (Mariel is only 45 km west from Havana). Mariel is known for its mass exodus in 1980 when 125,000 Cubans left for a half a year.
The government is making the port a special economic zone with reduced taxes and customs break for foreign and local companies. Cuba is hoping this important projects to create more jobs and to increase exports.