EFE/14ymedio, Havana, 21 July 2022 — In the first half of this year, Cuba approved nine businesses with foreign capital for an amount of some 20 million dollars, according to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, who spoke in a meeting with parliamentarians on Wednesday. Without giving details about the companies, their countries of origin and their exact activity, the official said that there are 57 projects under negotiation that have the conditions to materialize for a committed investment capital of almost 5 billion dollars, which could be produced within a year.
The nine businesses that received the green light from the Cuban government from January to June belong to “priority” sectors, said the minister, such as food production, mining, industry, wholesale trade, construction, information technology, telecommunications and biotechnology.
Most of these businesses “are small” and one of them appears on the list of those approved in the strategic Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM), Malmierca reported to the Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly of People’s Power in a meeting prior to the plenary session in the coming days.
The minister explained that the Island is updating foreign investment policies in an effort to eliminate “obstacles” that limit access to foreign financing, which he described as “vital” for the performance of the economy.
Currently those who are committed to investing in Cuba “do so at risk,” but he considered that there are businesses that are “very important” and for which it is possible to support partners.
Likewise, he pointed out that the inclusion of projects with low investment amounts within Cuba’s portfolio of opportunities is one of the lines of action on which they are working.
He also advanced that aspects related to the participation of foreign capital in private businesses are in the process of being defined, where some experiences could begin soon, and added that he considered the possibility of foreign investment participating in wholesale and retail trade in the country.
Last December, Malmierca acknowledged that despite the actions carried out, “the desired results” had not been achieved in the application of the law on foreign investment that has been in force since 2014.
It was then learned that during 2020 and 2021 only 47 new businesses had been approved, and that only 25 of them had been established.
At the end of last year, 285 new businesses had been approved on the island, 49 of them in the Mariel Special Development Zone, and 29 reinvestments.
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