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Cuban Economy in 2019: to Increase Efficiency and Productivity

MarielThe Cuban Government expects a 1.5 percent increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019, with slight recovery of the sugar industry and better performances in other areas such as construction, transportation and communications.
The economic battle ‘remains the fundamental task and also the most complex one. This is the task that demands the most from all of us today because it is the one from which our people expect the most,’ said President Miguel Diaz-Canel during the sessions this month of the National Assembly of People’s Power (unicameral Parliament).

In the same vein, Economy and Planning Minister Alejandro Gil said recently that ‘we have the potential to grow even adjusting available resources, without increasing external debt and without renouncing development.’

For 2019, the economic growth target set in Cuba is 1.5 percent, similar to the 1.7 percent forecast for this region by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The minister explained that there are two ways to obtain foreign currency: exports and loans, but the latter are returned with interest and increasing them irrationally would mean to mortgage the future of the nation. Also, external financing is limited to the ability of the economy to repay it.

The goal is to increase investment in the economy by 20 percent compared to 2018, he said.

Cuba achieved an economic growth of 1.2 percent in 2018 without abandoning important social programs, despite the negative impact of climate events and the persistent US blockade.

According to official calculations, in 2018 the economic, financial and commercial siege of Washington caused losses to Cuba of 4.321 billion dollars; that is, about 12 million dollars a day.

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