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Cuban President reviews foreign investment and exports

Diaz C ReunionFOREIGN investment is fundamental to the national economy’s growth and development. We must be audacious and creative in the way we direct it, so we can advance projects designed to include participation of foreign capital. Likewise, increasing exports is of vital importance to acquire the financial resources the country needs for economic development, while replacing imports with domestic products continues as a priority.

These points were emphasized by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during a recent meeting to critically analyze the development of foreign investment and trade programs, and identify limitations creating obstacles to better results.

Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, explained that in Cuba exports are concentrated in a few lines of products, a few markets and modalities, so work is focused on diversification as well as expansion. He reported on the current performance of the country’s key exportable lines, among which figure tourism, services, pharmaceuticals, nickel, and tobacco.

The minister detailed actions being undertaken to identify potential exports and promote their production in different parts of the country, to encourage and develop capacity.

Emphasized was the reality that quality remains key to expanding exports, and Cuba’s products must be able to compete on the international market.

Referring to foreign investment, Malmierca reported that progress was noted in 2017, although the level of investment has not yet reached that needed by the country.

During the review meeting, President Díaz-Canel insisted on the need to continue directing efforts toward acquiring investments by foreign companies and not only seeking credit.

In this regard, he noted that foreign investment can be seen as one feasible route to increasing exports, and emphasized that the foreign investment law enacted in 2014 protects the nation’s sovereignty and independence.

Díaz-Canel requested a detailed analysis from all central state administrative bodies involved in foreign trade and investment, to clarify what issues limit more rapid progress. Given the importance of the question, it will also be addressed during the next Council of Ministers meeting, he said.

The President reiterated comments on the issue made by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, in which he emphasized eliminating unnecessary delays in the negotiation process, and letting go of fears associated with capital from abroad.


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