To stimulate efficiency, the Diaz-Canel's administration will allow state-owned companies to use a part of their annual profits to finance the construction of housing for their workers.
On Thursday, the ninth Cuban legislature began its ninth regular session analyzing the development of the country's economy during the first quarter of 2021.
Economy Minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez highlighted that the gross domestic product (GDP) achieved a year-on-year growth rate of 10.9 percent during the first quarter of 2022. He recalled that the country was practically paralyzed in 2021, when its GDP decreased by 12.7 percent as a result of the pandemic and the U.S. blockade.
Gil Fernandez also announced the adoption of over 70 measures to boost industrial and agricultural production, and substitute imports. Among them are the opening of a new foreign exchange market and the relaxation of non-commercial imports made by natural persons.
To stimulate economic efficiency, President Miguel Diaz-Canel's administration will allow state-owned companies to use a part of their annual profits to finance the construction of housing for their workers.
Gil Fernandez highlighted that the highest quarterly year-on-year growth rates occurred in activities related to public health (14.3 percent), education (9.4 percent), transportation, storage and communication (5.9 percent), and hotels and restaurants (5.3 percent).
However, manufacturing activities contracted by 15 percent in the first quarter, when Cuba received foreign exchange for US$2.5 billion, a figure that is still below the US$4 billion that entered the country before the pandemic in 2019.
“Although we are not recovering, we still have a contraction in foreign exchange earnings. Our goal is to reach 2019 levels as quickly as possible,” Gil Fernandez said, warning that the achievement of this goal "does not depend only on us but also on the international context."