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40 contracts signed by Cuban exporters with non-state producers

Cuba exportaciones“Since the effective date, more than a month ago, of rules governing relations between companies specializing in foreign trade services and non-state forms of management, 40 contracts have been signed to carry out some type of operation, in accordance with the country’s strategy approved to boost the national economy and place all players on an equal footing.”

This is the news reported to Granma by Vivian Herrera, General Director of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (Mincex), who emphasized the commitment of 37 state enterprises authorized to conduct this activity, as well as other entities and organizations involved, in the interest of offering new opportunities for the export and import of goods and services by the non-state sector.

Of the 1,056 letters of intention we have received, she said, 732 are from self-employed producers, 119 non-agricultural cooperatives and 205 private workers, including independent farmers, artists, writers and other intellectuals.

She reported that five contracts for export activities have been concluded. The first, she recalled, was signed by the non-agricultural cooperative La Concordia, from Matanzas, and recently, through the Empresa de Frutas Selectas, private farmers have also begun to export Persian lime and avocado to Spain.

In the final stages of negotiation are another 71 export contracts for a variety of products including charcoal, fruit, fresh and canned vegetables, natural chemicals, sustainably managed timber, honey soap, computer services and software, among others.

“In the case of imports, 35 trade agreements were signed and another 159 are in the process of revision, focused mainly on the acquisition of raw materials such as pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, automotive spare parts, paints and graphic supplies.”

In terms of the principal concerns noted during the process of launching these new commercial relations, she cited the guarantee that non-state economic actors have to access the hard currency generated by their export activity upon request.

Regarding this issue, Lourdes Aintzane Delgado, head of the Central Bank of Cuba’s Systems Development Department, explained that for individuals there is no prohibition on withdrawing funds from their accounts in freely convertible currency, although this does depend on availability of the currency requested in the particular bank branch, at the time of the operation.

Another frequently asked question concerns the mechanisms established that allow non-state forms of management to obtain foreign currency and conduct import and/or export operations.

According to the Central Bank’s Resolution 112/20, she noted, income is received through bank transfers to other freely convertible currency accounts in Cuban banks, as long as the funds come from commercial activity and legally authorized services, transfers from Fincimex for remittances, or through cash deposits.

In the case of commercial activities involving exports, she indicated, individuals can open a bank account without an initial deposit, at least during the first six months, to facilitate the start-up of their operations.

The ministry’s General Director of Foreign Trade clarified that the import services provided by Cuban entities authorized to support the non-state sector do not limit imports by individuals, as long as the goods are of a non-commercial nature. This activity, she said, will continue to be carried out through the usual channels, that is, by travelers or via shipments, with the payment of customs duties as established for these types of imports.

(Taken from Granma)

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