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Investing in Cuba

VUCE to Launch this Month

The MINCEX new app for investors: VUINEX. Image courtesy: MINCEX

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX) has announced the official launch of the VUCE (formerly known as the VUINEX application) – the Single Window of Foreign Investment, aiming to expedite negotiation processes and the approval of businesses by foreign investors.

The start-up phase of the Single Window for Foreign Investment (La Ventanilla Única de Inversión Extranjera) completed the software and services testing phase late last year.

According to Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, the commissioning phase began yesterday and is expected to be fully operational this month.

The procedures of foreign investment have changed in a positive way. Investing in Cuba is now easier and faster, resulting in a more expeditious process. VUCE is an integrated digital platform for investors.

With this new program, investors will be able to do all the paperwork in Cuba in a time-saving manner which simplifies the entire process. In the past, it had been somewhat cumbersome and time-consuming.

The VUCE program was developed by the software company Desoft S.A. and presented to the public at last year’s Feria Internacional de la Habana (FIHAV 2018).

Last September, a training and validation workshop of the VUCE program was held at the MINCEX offices with the participation of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a delegation from the European Union (EU), experts from the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) and business groups conducting foreign trade also took part in a series of training sessions and meetings.

The Single Window of Foreign Investment is the simplification of the procedures for the export and import of goods. It will provide investor information and allow electronic transfer of the paperwork for the approvals required for the import and export of goods.

The “One Stop Shop” program is already in use at the Special Development Zone of Mariel (ZEDM) for businesses at the Zone. The plans to initiate this process throughout Cuba are ready. VUCE is going to hasten the investment process for foreign investors by eliminating the paperwork and bureaucracy.

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As stated in our interview with Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, there are two new One Stop Shops — one for Foreign Trade and the other for Foreign Investment.

“We expect that the One-Stop Shop for Foreign Investment throughout Cuba will be in place in January 2020. We are confident it will speed up the assessment process of the foreign capital projects as well as facilitate getting all the permits and licenses the investors are required from different Cuban authorities to materialize their investments in my country.”

NOTE: This article has been edited to reflect the name change of the new digital platform which was originally called VUINEX and is now known as VUCE – the ‘One Stop Shop’ for foreign investors.

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