Cuba sets tax exemptions for commercial zone at Port of Mariel, set to open around year's end

HAVANA - Cuba has approved rules for a special commercial zone at Mariel, a massive port under construction west of Havana.

The goal is to lure increased foreign investment as the Caribbean nation seeks to boost its sagging economy with a series of recent reforms.

Commercial operators in the special zone will be exempt from paying labour and customs duties and will enjoy a 10-year tax holiday on profits.

The regulations were published Monday in the government's Official Gazette. They take effect Nov. 1.

Mariel is expected to replace Havana as Cuba's hub of shipping activity when it comes online around year's end.

Two-thirds of the project's $900 million cost has come from Brazilian investment.