CUBA has unveiled 525 projects in the 2018-2019 portfolio of foreign investment opportunities seeking total financing of over US$11.6 billion. Foreign trade and investments minister Rodrigo Malmierca says some 168 new projects linked to cattle farming, the food processing, light, chemical, and metallurgical industries, tourism, and mining have been added to the new portfolio.
During the recently ended Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV), Malmierca said some 104 projects were removed, including those that have been successfully launched, while others have changed their scope or focus. He said others not included in the new package were those being negotiated. Malmierca said in 13 other cases, the proposed amount to be invested had been adjusted following the conducting of feasibility studies, and the updating of industrial policies, emphasising the need to develop productive chains. He said these initiatives were distributed across the country, and 45 of them were in the Mariel Special Development Zone.
Malmierca said tourism was once again the sector with the greatest number of proposals, with 187 projects included in the portfolio.
He explained that investments continued at the country’s airports and ports [harbours], and that special emphasis had been placed on railroad infrastructure. Malmierca said between October 2017 and 2018, some 40 new projects were authorised, representing total investment of more than US$1.5 billion, 35 of which are already moving forward.
Additionally, he said seven extensions and re-investments had been approved.
With respect to legal changes, Malmierca said some complementary norms have been modified to streamline the evaluation process and that work was underway to create a “single window” service for foreign investors, which should be available by mid-2019.
“Although it is less than what we need, foreign investment in Cuba is growing despite the economic, commercial, financial blockade. Our model of sustainable development is being transformed, and to do so, our government defends and includes international economic relations,” said Malmierca.
“We are committed to supporting all those interested in establishing new businesses. To do so, we have prepared a new portfolio, more diverse in composition in terms of activities and sectors.”