Investing in Cuba

Cuban PM Urges Changes in Foreign Investment and Trade

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A review of the status of foreign investment took place in Havana. The meeting was led by Minister Rodrigo Malmierca with the participation of other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz and Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz.

Marrero Cruz urged the need to change the ways foreign investment operates, emphasizing strong international competition for global markets in the “new normal” presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The post-pandemic world demands a need for radical change, attracting foreign investment and working on international collaboration, he said.

He also warned that “Waiting is not the solution,” because of the severe economic and social crisis facing humanity caused by COVID-19. It now requires greater efforts and intelligence to adapt to move forward.

Marrero Cruz said that preparation to face the new normality requires “changing mentalities, finding alternative methods to export, import, attract foreign investment and optimize international collaboration.”

Minister Malmierca indicated that 60% of the MINCEX measures related to expanding and diversifying links with other countries have been fulfilled.

The economic and social strategy has guided the activities of MINCEX in the promotion and diversification of exports, import substitution, attracting foreign investment, and promoting international cooperation.

Malmierca also said that the computerization of activities related to MINCEX has moved forward with the implementation of the One-Stop Shops (VUINEX and VUCE) for foreign trade and processing new foreign investment business.

MINCEX has also implemented export and import services to non-state forms of management with foreign trade companies and the creation of export companies in the other provinces.

Malmierca analyzed the efficiency of foreign trade, the status of bilateral mechanisms and international commitments, and the promotion of business with Cubans expats, including 47 identified interests, 13 of which are very likely to move forward.

Marrero said that Cubans expats must have the same opportunities to conduct business on the Island.

The connection with universities and the role of the young people who hold 31% of employment, most of them women, was also highlighted by Minister Malmierca.

Lietsa Peña Pacheco, Director of Exports of MINCEX, said that over 680 non-state forms of management have shown interest in entering foreign trade, but there is greater potential.

Mariela Cue Ladrón de Guevara, Director of Technical Regulation and Quality at MINCEX, said that accessing international markets requires strengthening quality. MINCEX has worked on the harmonization of regulations with other countries, but needs to increase the certification of more processes.

Carlos Luis Jorge Méndez, General Director of Foreign Investment, said that foreign investment has not been able to play its role. Negotiators have to be more precise and effective and find alternatives to obstacles that still limit increasing foreign investment.

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