HAVANA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's Special Development Zone at Mariel Port (ZEDM) has attracted more than 3.3 million U.S. dollars in the past decade despite the U.S. embargo on the island, said a director general of the zone, on Wednesday.
"Currently, there are 64 businesses here, 44 of them under operation," Ana Teresa Igarza told a press conference, adding that the U.S. economic sanctions against the Caribbean nation deter foreign companies from investing in the island.
Located some 45 km west of the Cuban capital Havana, the special development zone was opened in 2014.
At present, ZEDM houses companies from 21 countries, largely from Spain, Vietnam, Germany, France, Netherlands, Russia, and Brazil.
Martin Jose Spini, general manager of the container terminal at ZEDM, said that the U.S. embargo on Cuba restricts the arrival of vessels to the port.
"The U.S. embargo bans any vessel that enters a port in Cuba to engage in trade in goods here from entering any U.S. port for 180 days after leaving the island," he said.
First imposed in 1962, the U.S. embargo was tightened during the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, which issued more than 240 measures against the island.