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Decree-Law Number 165, of June 3, 1996,issued by the State Council

The following objectives are aimed at the creation of Free-Trade Zones and Industrial Parks:

To contribute to the social and economic development of the country; to encourage international trade in the framework of a greater economic integration with Latin America and the Caribbean; to stimulate the incorporation of a bigger national aggregated value, making use of the country's resources; to develop new national industries, assimilating highly developed technologies and the exportation of Cuban products.

There are three Trade-Free Zones operating at present.

The CIMEX S.A. Corporation, represented by Havana in Bond, is the concessionaire of the Berroa Free-Trade Zone, located in Havana's eastern outskirts, ten kilometres away from Havana's main Harbour. Phone: 338137 - 39. Fax: 338140

Almacenes Universales S.A. is the concessionaire of the Mariel and Wajay Free-Trade Zones.

Mariel is located at the Mariel Harbour, 60 km West of Havana. Phone: 660679. Fax: 669734.

Wajay is located on the outskirts of Havana, 1.5 km from the cargo terminal of the "Jose Marti" International Airport. Phone: 335884. Fax: 335885

The Ministry for Foreign Investment and Economic Co-operation, through the National Office for Free-Trade Zones, is the body of the State's central management in charge of regulating and controlling the activities of concessionaires and operators.

There are 237 operators (May 2000) and more than 23 are awaiting approval. Many more are still at the negotiation stage.

Cuban Free-Trade Zones cover more than 110 000 sq. km of which 72 000 are roofed storing facilities, 31 000 belong to open air storing facilities or green areas and 6 000 are offices for the foreign operators. By the end of 1999 there were 220 Free-Trade Zone operators from 26 countries, mainly from Spain, Italy, Canada, Panama and Mexico.

For those companies wishing to export to Cuba and import Cuban goods the free zone provides a quick solution to entering into these ventures. The Free-Zones operate under the rules of 25% - 75% meaning that for every 100 dollars imported 300 dollars worth of goods must be exported from the operator and Cuba.


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