President Raul Castro signed a decree Thursday for the establishment of Cuba's first special development zone, a local television channel reported.
The special development zone will be put into operation in November at the Mariel port, about 45 km west of Havana, according to the decree.
During a meeting with the Council of Ministers, Castro and his cabinet members also discussed details of the 900-million-U.S. dollar project undertaken by Brazil and Cuba.
Castro highlighted the strategic importance of the project, not only for his country but also for the entire region, the report said.
The project aims at turning Mariel into one of the largest port complexes in Cuba, as well as the largest container terminal in the Caribbean. Warehouses, industrial parks and oil wharfs will also be built to make it a hub for Cuba's foreign trade.