Havana, Thursday 14 de November de 2019 04:17 am

Minister Malmierca: Cuba works to create a favorable climate for foreign investment

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Minister Malmierca: Cuba works to create a favorable climate for foreign investmentHAVANA, Cuba, Nov 3 (ACN) Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, said Cuba will continue to work to create a favorable climate for foreign investment and confidence in potential partners.

The XXXVII International Fair of Havana (Fihav 2019) gathers again businessmen from more than 50 countries together with national exhibitors, so the participation of foreign investment is essential for the economic development of the Island.
In an interview that Malmierca Díaz granted to the weekly magazine Opciones, he stated that "in order to elaborate and apply strategies with the purpose of encouraging foreign investment, we must identify those factors that slow down or hinder its development".
It is unquestionable that the main objective factor is the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba, with all the regulations, actions and measures that create a deterrent effect on potential foreign investors interested in negotiating in our country, he said.
To this are added other factors that also slow down and, far from being an incentive, become a disincentive for foreign investment referred and among these cited the delay and complexity for obtaining permits, licenses and authorizations for projects with foreign capital, as well as the slowness in the analysis and conformation of the files for the presentation of projects to be evaluated by the competent authorities.
He point out that although there are still weaknesses in the training and adequate preparation in the country of the personnel who participate and intervene directly in the different processes associated with this activity, Cuba is better able to act in a more effective manner on such internal problems.
That is why we try to make our processes more expeditious, relaxing some complementary regulations of Law 118 on Foreign Investment and creating the Single Window on Foreign Investment, which aims to simplify everything related to the processing of permits for the establishment of businesses and shorten the established deadlines, he stressed.
We continue the promotion efforts, both in events inside and outside the country. An example of this is the celebration, in the context of Fihav 2019, of the 4th Investment Forum, for which a computer platform has been created that allows interested parties -in advance- to identify themselves and shape the agenda of meetings, he said.
Regarding the development of the ZEDM, he commented that it constitutes a long-term project, essential for the country's economy, but at the same time it is a project that advances with firm steps from the present.
"There are already 48 approved businesses, of these 41 with foreign capital, from 21 countries, for an investment amount of over 2.2 billion dollars. It has also been an important source of employment not only for Artemisa, but for municipalities in other provinces, he said.
"In its future projection is continuing to develop a number of important purposes, more than 45 new projects, and continue consolidating its infrastructure and services, which should be competitive in terms of quality and prices to continue attracting foreign investors, he added.
"By means of the Cuban companies that establish themselves in the Zone -there are already seven-, it is foreseen that the productive chain will be strengthened and an integration with the national economy will be propitiated, which is one of its most important objectives. The Program also contemplates in the medium and long term the significant growth of population settlements, with its consequent service infrastructure.
He said that the Mincex, as the governing body for foreign trade and foreign investment activities, maintains a permanent focus on issues associated with production chains and import substitution, in conjunction with national agencies and entities that direct productive and service activities.
"In particular, the productive chain between projects with foreign investment and Cuban companies is the object of attention in periodic checks and in visits to territories.
Likewise, the concretion of plans with foreign investment and others financed with external resources that substitute imports, such as those linked to the development of renewable energy sources, the agrifood sphere and Cuban industry, is promoted and followed up.
Foreign direct investment has great relevance in the Cuban development plan as it is one of the sources of entry of financial resources for the development of the country, he said.
He stated that "As has been expressed in several scenarios, more than 2 billion dollars per year are needed for this concept, but it is also important that these resources are directed to the strategic sectors of the nation, to projects that promote productive chains, generate exports and/or substitute imports".
He said that next November 6, in the context of Fihav 2019, will take place the inauguration of the 4th Investment Forum, where the launch of the Portfolio of Foreign Investment Opportunities 2019-2020 will take place and these details will be announced.
"I can tell you that in the preparation of the Portfolio has been taken into account that the projects tribute to axes and strategic sectors conceived in the Bases of the National Plan for Economic and Social Development until 2030," he added.
Actions have been taken to ensure that the sponsoring organizations of foreign investment have well-defined structures that attend the activity as a priority, that the staff of these structures are well prepared, for which it is supported with various training activities, expanded.
He reiterated that "we are engaged in making our processes more expeditious, through the relaxation of the complementary regulations of Law 118, and the creation of the Single Window of Foreign Investment, which aims to simplify the processing of permits for the establishment of businesses and shorten the deadlines defined for this.
Despite the tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States, the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and the measures taken by the Trump administration against Cuba, trade with our main partners has remained at a good level, Malmierca Díaz emphasized.
"At the same time, trade links continue to expand with other nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa, where new business opportunities are opening up. An example of this is the marked presence at Fihav 2019 of companies, chambers of commerce, associations and other entities from these countries," he said.


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