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An estimated amount of  $8000 700 million in 246 projects are being negotiated in the International Fair of Havana (FIHAV 2014); these projects are mainly divided between the Special Development Zone Mariel (ZEDM), and secondly the sectors of agriculture, forestry and food, sugar, energy, trade, tourism, health, industries, transportation, construction, mining and pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The need to attract foreign capital is the expected objective of the development program of the Cuban economy, but it does not mean that Cuba opens the door to any kind of investment. The Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca, during the presentation of the Foreign Investment Opportunities Portfolio held this last Monday at FIHAV, said "We do not want to improvise; we want to invest in something we really need".

The minister said the portfolio of opportunities is not a list prepared by the Government, it is profiled by national companies, depending on their interests and needs to link to foreign capital.

Among the advantages of foreign investors are the good relations for the country in a regional and an international level as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA), the Bolivarian Alliance for de Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Caricom, Mercosur, besides the prospects of understanding with the European Union, and the tax and financial facilities in ZEDM.

The entire country is involved strategically in the portfolio of opportunities, although they are mainly concentrated in the Western region. Energy sector has about 20 projects with more than $1 200 million, of which are 10 intended to settle in the ZEDM.

Last Tuesday, the business forum was held in the Zone, with a total of 25 projects which are prioritized, among other areas, the iron and steel´s, chemical and electronic industry, and biotechnology and medicine production. During the forum the advantages of the Zone were highlighted, from an attractive regulatory framework with a special tax regime to the fast approval system.
Spain, Italy, China, Russia, France, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands and Canada are the most represented and interested in the Special Zone and other strategic sectors such as tourism, food processing and biotechnology.

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