World Economy

Cuba Experiences Economic Boom

Cuba Experiences Economic BoomCuba Experiences Economic Boom

On July 20, the United States and Cuba will formally restore diplomatic relations. It ends decades of attempts by Washington to isolate the Caribbean nation internationally. It’s taken seven months of tough negotiations for the sides to agree to reopen their embassies.

European tourists, politicians and businessmen have been rushing to Cuba. They’re hoping to get there before the Americans do, CCTV reported.

At Cuba’s new mega-port project west of Havana, shipping containers are stacked five-deep the length of its 2,300-foot (700-meter) dock alongside four massive, Chinese-built offloading cranes, AP said.

Neon-vested workers are busy laying roads and building a convention center, and trucks filled with dirt rumble over rutted roads and coat the vegetation with dust.

Not far from the Mariel container terminal, workers have finished grading a flat area the size of a football field for the first private companies to establish operations in a special economic development zone billed as a key part of the country’s effort to attract foreign investment and jumpstart a sluggish economy.

A year and a half after the port’s launch, only seven companies—five foreign and two domestic—have the green light to operate here. But with six of those approvals coming since January, officials say things are getting off the ground.

“We’re in July and we have approved almost one company per month,” Ana Teresa Igarza, director of the Special Development Zone at Mariel, said in an interview this week, when The Associated Press received access to the site. “The pace is what we expected from the beginning.”