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  • Several people eat at an ice cream parlor on the first day of its reopening in Havana, Cuba, July 9, 2020.

    Several people eat at an ice cream parlor on the first day of its reopening in Havana, Cuba, July 9, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 July 2020
Opinion

Authorities seek to reorder the internal trade system and increase export diversification.

Cuba’s Council of Ministers Thursday approved an economic and social strategy for boosting the economy amidst the global crisis induced by the COVID-19.

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President Miguel Diaz-Canel explained that Cuba's current situation is framed in a world’s complex and challenging scenario stemming from the pandemic.

“Developing the economy means offering greater welfare to the people,” he said and explained that the new policies aim at "strengthening us, not just to stay afloat.”

The current budget deficit has led his administration to adopt measures to face the crisis and prepare the conditions to deal with the post-COVID-19 scenario.

To achieve this, authorities plan to regulate the market through indirect methods and to develop complementarity among economic actors.

Finance Minister Alejandro Gil said that the new strategy, which covers 16 economic sectors, will be implemented immediately given that the country aims to defend its local production and decrease its imports.

“As soon as possible, we will eliminate the dual currency system," Gil revealed.

To increase macroeconomic efficiency, the authorities will grant greater managerial autonomy to companies, which will also benefit state-owned production units.

Other important lines of the strategy are reordering the internal trade system, boosting foreign investment, and increasing export diversification.

Authorities also announced the sale in freely convertible currency of a group of basic products and "the elimination of the 10 percent tax on the U.S. dollar, with which it seeks to increase the country's foreign currency income," the Foreign Affairs Ministry explained.

"Solutions to economic problems do not arrive in a boat. We have to look for solutions for our problems inside the country,” Gil concluded.

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