The first edition of the Cuban 2020 Business Forum took place last December 9. It was inaugurated by Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment. During his speech, the Minister envisioned a future that, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, seems frankly promising.
The new portfolio of business opportunities in Cuba has increased to 503 foreign investments projects which means an increase of 43 from last year. The portfolio is estimated to reach an investment amount of USD 12.07 billion. It is also expected to incorporate 112 new projects, which are already approved or in an advanced stage of negotiation. The greatest opportunities that foreign investors see are linked to tourism, with a total of 131 projects.
Mariel Special Development Zone: at the forefront of foreign investment
Other figures are also very positive. Taking into account that despite the current limitations in 2020, only the Mariel Special Development Zone received a foreign investment of more than 730,566 million US dollars. This area has a total of 44 new proposals. Likewise, the Minister pointed out that businesses with a smaller scope and investment amounts are also being studied but always with a marked export nature and especially those that will promote local development.
He also affirmed that these new projects and those present in the Business Opportunities Portfolio should, as far as possible, incorporate technologies that take advantage of renewable energy sources.
New regulations, more opportunities
Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz emphasized that, as of this year and with the ongoing transformations of the country’s economy, the requirement that the Cuban side have the obligation to be the majority partner in important sectors for development such as biotechnology, wholesale trade or tourism is eliminated.
In addition to this announcement he also mentioned the new regulation for foreign investment (Vuinex), published in “La Gaceta Oficial no.47″. This mechanism streamlines and makes investment in Cuba more flexible, eliminating old bureaucratic obstacles.