“Cuba needs and looks favorably upon promised U.S. investment,” said Cuban Minister of Finance and Prices Lina Pedraza at an international meeting in Mexico.
Pedraza, who is in that country attending the World Economic Forum on Latin America, made official statements about the way the Cuban government perceives the interest many American businesspeople have expressed to invest in Cuba following the December 17 announcements that led to the thaw of relations between the two countries.
“We need those promises to materialize, though,” added Pedraza during her presentation at the panel discussion titled “Economic Update and Investment Opportunities in Cuba.”
Pedraza said that the process to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States is advancing at a slower pace than that the Cuban government desires and needs, and noted how important benefitting from American investment would be for the country.
The minister said that many American businesspeople had approached Cuban officials to ask how they can help Cuba, to which they have been answering that what Cuba needs at the time is investments in food production.
“What they can do for now is start to get ready,” she added, “get familiar with Cuban law and regulations, and try to influence the process, as much as they can, in the United States. That is the most important for us.”
She quoted the licenses granted to ferry operators this week as an example of the positive measures taken by the Obama administration. Then noted that, in the future, Congress would have to make other decisions involving Cuba.
“The blockade (as many in Cuba refer to the U.S. embargo) must come to an end”, she said in this connection.
Pedraza also noted the positive steps taken so far by the American Government, such as Cuba’s removal from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, and the suspension of the country’s monitoring as a possible ground for money laundering, following a review of transactions and documents that proved that the island nation has sufficient capacity to impede these kinds of financial crime.