A broader, more diverse and innovative Portfolio of Foreign Investment Opportunities

30 de November de 2021

A portfolio articulated with the economic and social development strategy and in tune with the transformations to promote the country’s progress was presented during the second day of the II Cuba 2021 Business Forum.

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, explained that in a complex context it is necessary to be more proactive to attract foreign capital, promote new opportunities and facilitate the realization of business, eliminating bureaucracy and excessive delays, among other obstacles.

Since the issuance of the new foreign investment law in 2014, 244 new businesses have been approved outside the ZED Mariel, 49 within that enclave and 29 reinvestments have been made; all this has involved an amount of 9.7 billion dollars.  

Although the effects of the economic crisis persist, which are manifested in the effects on capital flows, a global contraction, plus the effects of the pandemic, since November 2020, 15 new businesses have been closed with an investment amount of 512 million dollars (three in the ZED Mariel and a hotel management contract).

Among the most significant sectors are food, tourism, construction, health, biotechnology, energy and industry. Companies from more than 40 countries are represented and there are advanced negotiations of 40 new projects for USD 4 billion.

 “Cuba has ratified its determination to increase the participation of foreign direct investment as an important source for economic and social development”, said the minister, who reiterated that the difficult scenario imposed by the pandemic is compounded by the intensified U.S. blockade in the case of our country.  

He detailed that the new portfolio is distinguished by novelties such as the redesign and modernization in accordance with current trends: a web platform (www.inviertaencuba.mincex.gob.cu) that works in real time, can be updated as new projects appear and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

It also includes an integrated search system according to user selection criteria such as sector, location (up to municipality level), investment amount, strategic axis, environmental impact, among others.

Malmierca Díaz emphasized that the current portfolio is made up of 678 projects, 175 more than in the previous edition; the amount of capital amounts to some US$ 12.5 billion (US$ 463 million more than in the previous edition) and is broader not only in quantity but also in diversity.

A total of 192 new projects have been incorporated for more than 5 billion USD and 17 in the Mariel ZED. Such figures show the confidence of companies and firms from different countries in Cuba as a reliable place for investment.

Another unprecedented element is the presence of 60 local development projects promoted by the territorial governments, which will contribute to give the municipality a greater role in economic decisions, as stated in the Cuban Constitution.

For the first time, the area of food production is the most represented with 164 projects; new economic actors are taken into account (both state and non-state management), those located in the Scientific and Technological Park of Havana (six), as well as those aimed at professional services in the economic consulting activity (five) and nine others for the modernization of sugar mills and the construction of new facilities related to that branch.

This portfolio, unlike its predecessors, includes more projects with lower investment amounts and is more diverse, as it covers almost all socioeconomic sectors.  

As for the policies that support the promotion of business, there are modifications in accordance with the changes linked to the transformations in the economy, focused on tempering the activity of foreign investment with the updating of the economic model; eliminating obstacles that hinder the realization of potential businesses and ratifying the sectoral policies that were renewed in 2020, in addition to the linkage of foreign capital with non-state management forms, in particular those classified as legal entities.

Another change in that portfolio is related to the elimination of the restrictive policy regarding the establishment of bank accounts abroad by foreign investment modalities.

There are other actions such as the operation of the Single Window for Foreign Investment (VUINEX), which is consolidated as a platform to support investors, and the encouragement of the agricultural sector with new business models to make foreign investment in this area more attractive.

On the other hand, the head of MINCEX also announced the exportable supply of goods and services, which is based on the strategic sectors on which this event has focused and includes 74 exporting entities and more than 300 products.

Notes of the second day

A panel from the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZED Mariel) reviewed the current state of investments in that strategic site. Along with its general director, Ana Teresa Igarza Martínez, participated representatives of several companies installed there, where there are 61 approved businesses (35 in operations, 31 of foreign capital, 15 mixed and the rest Cuban).

Presentations were made by Mariel Catalina Álvarez Irarragorri, general director of CIGB-Mariel; Vi Nguyen Phuong, from Thai Binh Global Investment Corporation; Dien Nguyen Lam Dién, from Suchel TBV; and Thai Binh, Green Power; among other users.

Also, as part of Tuesday’s sessions, there was a panel on business opportunities in Cuba for renewable sources. In this regard, the head of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM), Liván Arronte Cruz, told the press about the validity of a meeting like this one, in which the links with foreign entrepreneurs have been strengthened to materialize investments and businesses in order to contribute to the transformation of the country’s generation matrix.

In addition, the Ministries of Food and Agriculture exchanged with those attending the forum about their potential to establish working alliances with foreign capital companies.

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