During the first half of this year, Cuba approved nine companies with foreign capital worth around 20 million dollars, Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca said on Wednesday during a meeting with parliamentarians.
There are currently 57 projects under negotiation that have the conditions to materialize for a committed investment capital of nearly $5 billion, which the minister estimated could take place within a year, according to a report by the national news agency Prensa Latina.
The nine companies that received the green light between January and June belong to priority sectors, such as food production, mining, industry, wholesale trade, construction, information technology, telecommunications and biotechnologies.
Most of these companies “are small” and one of them is on the list of those approved in the Mariel Special Development Strategic Zone (ZEDM), Malmierca told the Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly of People’s Power in a pre-plenary session meeting in the coming days.
The minister explained that the country is updating foreign investment policies with the aim of eliminating “barriers” that limit access to foreign financing, which he described as “vital” for the performance of the economy.
Currently, those who undertake to invest in Cuba “do so at risk”, but he considered that there are companies that are “very important” and for which it is possible to support partners. He also pointed out that the inclusion of low-investment projects in the island’s portfolio of opportunities is one of the lines of action they are working on.
He also argued that aspects related to the participation of foreign capital in private companies were also being defined, where some experiments could start soon, and added that the possibility of foreign investment participating in wholesale and retail trade in the country was being considered.
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The EFE news agency pointed out that Malmierca had acknowledged last December that despite the actions carried out, “the desired results” had not been achieved in the application of the law on foreign investments in force since 2014. In 2020 and 2021, only 47 new companies had been approved, and only 25 of them had been created.
At the end of last year, 285 new companies had been approved on the island, including 49 in the ZAC of Mariel, and 29 reinvestments.