The group, including five 100% foreign-owned companies, two Cuban and one joint enterprise, came together for a press conference to share their experience with those attending Fihav 2015.
Luis Alberto González, President de Richmeat, is a Mexican meat processing company with a 15-year history in Cuba, explained that their factory in Mariel will process 1,000 tons a month and will hire 25-45 Cuban workers. The plant will begin operations with meat imported from Mexico, but the plan is to move toward acquiring it from Cuban ranchers.
The Spanish food processing company Profood, to supply hotels, has a similar plan, according to director Antonio Vicens, who said, “The goal is to reach 60% national raw materials. “
Also participating in the press conference were Devox, a Mexican paint company; and BDC Log, a Belgian entity which will handle logistics within the Zone; and BDC tec with plans to build an assembly plant for temperature sensors and electrical panels, among other products.
The joint Cuba-Brazil enterprise, Brascuba, which has successfully operated in the country for two decades, reported that it will build a cigarette plant in Mariel.
Wendy Miranda, a ZEDM official, added that the U.S. farm equipment company Cleber LLC, has been approved to establish a tractor assembly plant in Mariel.
Saul Berenthal, president of the company based in the state of Alabama, reported that the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is still considering their license, and noted that the blockade continues to limit the ability of U.S. companies to take advantage of opportunities in Cuba.