HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 28 (ACN) The pandemic will cause negative effects on the Cuban economy, in addition to the damage caused by the blockade imposed by the United States, but we are working seriously and with dedication to lessen them, said Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, minister of foreign trade and foreign investment.
During his participation at the Mesa Redonda TV program, he pointed out the complex international situation, in which the World Trade Organization predicted a 13-22 percent contraction in 2020, while ECLAC predicted a contraction of GDP in Latin America and the Caribbean only compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s, which will affect mostly poverty and food indicators.
Despite this, he added, Cuba has the advantage of being a socialist country where the people are the primary focus and no one will be abandoned.
Malmierca Diaz described as shameful the difficulties the U.S. government is creating to acquire resources in the midst of the complex situation.
The minister stressed the effects of the novel coronavirus will be seen in Cuba, especially in tourism, one of the main export services of the nation, an aspect that will cause effects on the country's income.
The head of foreign trade and foreign investment indicated as another problem the general contraction of the markets that currently affect the main Cuban exportable products such as nickel and sugar, while it is complex to buy food such as milk and rice, since their price has risen by more than 10 percent in both cases.
Malmierca Diaz also referred to the difficulty in acquiring products in the international market, since exporting countries try to secure them for their own benefit, in order to make them available in their regions.
However, Cuba is working to replace imports, especially of food and energy, while trying to boost foreign direct investment, with projects approved for 600 million dollars in the early months of 2020, he stressed.
Cuban minister pointed to the potential of the biopharmaceutical industry in the midst of the pandemic, which exports medicines such as Interferon Alpha 2B, and also highlighted medical services.
We are not going to give up on economic and social development even in this situation, nor will we sit back and do nothing. We have to work with a realistic but at the same time optimistic attitude and take advantage of previous experiences of savings and efficient use of what we have, Malmierca Diaz concluded.