The Cuban government announced that it will open its wholesale and retail trade to foreign investment, in another attempt to solve the serious shortage of all kinds of products suffered by the population. For this, it will allow different foreign companies to sell throughout the Island from raw materials to food and cleaning products and basic necessities.
According to Ana Teresita González Fraga, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, that entity will seek to “selectively promote the creation of companies to carry out wholesale trade activities”, dedicated above all to the sale of raw materials, supplies, tools and others “that can help national production.”
In an appearance on the television program of the Round tablethe official indicated that that measure also includes “food products, hygiene, economic line”as well as the production of electricity from renewable sources.
These businesses will trade in foreign currency or freely convertible currency (MLC).
The official stressed that The measure is open to both foreign companies and entities that already have representations in Cuba, including foreign embassies.
According to what he said, the Government will encourage these entities to be able to pre-finance national producers who have the conditions to become suppliers, while a “differentiated financial scheme” will be applied to foreign investors, which includes the authorization to sell in foreign currencies or MLC.
González Fraga acknowledged that the policy announced with great fanfare in 2020 of authorizing Cuban producers to import raw materials and tools through state entities “has not had the expected result.”
He added that the income as taxes generated by these new businesses “will be for the production of products to be sold in Cuban pesos to the population.”
He also pointed out that the approval of the entities to exercise this new type of trade will be through official institutions.although he did not clarify how the bidding process will be necessary to be admitted.
The Minister of Domestic Trade, Betsy Díaz Velázquez, added in the program itself that business in this sector will always be in the form of joint ventures or international economic associations, and that they would sell in foreign currency.
The objective of the measures, he said, is to achieve a stable supply of products to the populationhave the essential goods and services that citizens require.
Priority will be given to companies that have been doing business in the country for years, that have branches and offices on the island, he added, as well as “a group of countries and partners that have been with us all this time,” he pointed out, referring to to the allies of Havana.
González Fraga specified that, Although the Cuban State will continue to monopolize the importation of products, it will exceptionally authorize some private entities to engage in this activity.
He also pointed out that the new measures, the umpteenth announced in less than two years to resolve the serious economic crisis that the Island is suffering, are “to recover from the current situation in the country.”