Economic Development

Imports and Exports Business on the Increase

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Imports and exports are on the increase in Cuba. By mid-January, 4,450 private entities had approached exporting and importing companies, almost 50% of these have shown the intent to establish some type of operation.

Over the four months since the regulations were published, 863 contracts were signed, 821 for imports and 42 for exports. Over 59% were made through consignment sales and customs warehouses.

In recent months, 19 new consignments have opened to supply the non-state sector with products in great demand for importation.

Among the problems identified is that some people interpreted these facilities were intended only for cooperatives and self-employed workers. However, it is for all forms of non-state management.


In a televised broadcast, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), and Vivian Herrera Cid, Director General of Foreign Trade, analyzed the progress in importing and exporting goods and services of private entities in Cuba.

Herrera pointed out that the number of private entities identified with export potential increased from 382 in June to 621 in December. Of these, 475 are within the agri-food sector, (in the provinces of Pinar del Río, Granma and Las Tunas; 598 export of goods and 23 for services.

In four months, $22 million worth of goods have been imported and exported. Herrera said, “It is an encouraging number and it shows us that it is possible to insert these forms as clients in the economic fabric of our country.”

Minister Malmierca said, “we must continue to make an effort with consignment sales, which facilitate access to the product and lower prices, since they are wholesale sales, thus reducing costs.”

Herrera said that in four months, 22 million dollars of goods and services have been imported and exported. “It is an encouraging number, and it shows us it is possible to insert these forms as clients in the economic fabric of our country.”

Exports are an essential element in the country’s new socioeconomic strategy of the Development Plan 2030, Malmierca said, “because Cuba is an open economy, it depends on its interrelation with the exterior.”

He said that the Cuban economy has changed over the last 20 years. “Today it is basically a service economy (70%), taking into account this we cannot neglect the need to promote other exports, not only traditional products but also those of high technology.” We start from the idea that the exporter is the one who receives the greatest benefit. 80% of the foreign currency income received stays with the exporter, while the remaining 20% delivered in local currency.”

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Commenting on the commercial margin, the minister said that “what they invoice is minimal, as all companies specialized in the export and import matter in the world do.”

“It is done by state-owned companies because they are the ones with the expertise to do so. To penetrate a market, it is necessary not only for the product to have exportable quality but also the channels to access that market. All this requires study and analysis, and this is what the state-owned company provides,” he added.

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