Businesses arranged with foreign capital investment in Cuba amounted to 327 until last May, as reported by the Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP), which met this Wednesday in Havana.
Ricardo Cabrisas, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), explained to the parliamentarians that these agreements have been signed with businesspeople from more than 40 nations, according to a report by the Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) news agency.
In the update on this strategic activity for the development of the Cuban economy, the minister specified that of the presented volume, 167 businesses correspond to administration contracts, 106 to joint ventures and 56 are totally foreign capital.
Among the countries that have invested the most in the island, Cabrisas mentioned Spain, Italy, Panama, Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, China, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, the report added.
He also clarified that these businesspeople have had to overcome the growing financial and economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. administration against Cuba, and the effects of being included on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
However, he acknowledged that internal deficiencies persist to speed up the process, some linked to bureaucratic procedures that delay the approval of the proposals, as well as a lack of preparation of officials in entities and territories.
The minister assessed the figures corresponding to the first half of 2023 as a “discreet recovery,” with the agreement of 18 businesses, six of them hotel administration contracts (and marketing), covering more than 55,000 rooms.
In addition to the tourism sector, he revealed that there are currently businesses with the participation of foreign capital in exports of nickel and cobalt, as well as lead and zinc; in the commercialization of Premium and mechanized cigars, production and commercialization of rums, as well as in the production of oxygen and industrial gases and power generation.
Businesses related to the supply of liquefied natural gas to the capital, production of beer, soft drinks, water, wheat flour, meat products, confectionery and coffee were also mentioned; as well as the production of containers, toiletries and hygiene products, furniture, and telecommunications services.
Cabrisas called for a greater participation of foreign investment in the development of municipalities, due to its contribution to exports, based on the increase in its added value, the promotion of exportable funds and the recovery of productions, the publication highlighted.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recently recognized that in 2022 foreign direct investment on the island had shown slight signs of improvement, establishing 35 new businesses, 18 more than in the previous year.
Agreements in various sectors that have recently opened up to attracting foreign capital, as is the case of retail trade, or in others such as agriculture, in which despite the possibilities included in the most up-to-date business portfolio, still have not taken off.
In February of this year it emerged that only five projects of this type were constituted in Cuban agriculture from a group of 30 that are going through one of the approval or negotiation phases.