Cuba will allow foreign investment in trade and stores for the first time since 1959

The Government of Cuba has announced a series of new measures to promote foreign investment in wholesale trade, including companies with 100% foreign capital, and through joint ventures in the country's retail trade -stores and establishments-, in addition to promoting exports, thus giving a turn to the centralization of economic activities and in response to shortages, according to Europa Press. It is the first time that trade has been opened to the participation of non-Cuban companies since the 1959 revolution.

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In statements during her speech this Monday in a program on Cuban public television, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Ana Teresita González Fraga, and the Minister of Domestic Trade, Betsy Díaz Velázquez, indicated the possibility of wholesale trade companies with foreign participation. majority, while in retail trade joint ventures will be promoted.

"We are proposing that foreign investment entities be created to market in the wholesale market," announced the deputy minister, adding that another of the approved measures is to selectively promote the creation of joint ventures to carry out retail activities, which will allow achieve greater efficiency.

In this regard, Díaz Velázquez pointed out that it is intended to develop wholesale trade and, exceptionally, retail trade with foreign investment, with the aim of attracting financial resources, advanced management methods, technologies and marketing.

“It will not be an open retail business, but it will not be restrictive either”

In this way, the new measures seek to eliminate the exceptional nature of the participation of foreign investment in retail trade, in which a state market will prevail, for which "it will not be an open retail trade, but neither will it be restrictive as it was established so far."

Likewise, regarding wholesale trade, the minister stressed that, from now on, in addition to the usual modalities of joint ventures and international economic association contracts, with a common fund or by service, it will also be evaluated that there is "a participation of wholly foreign-owned companies.

"We will also evaluate (as long as the objectives of the proposal are in correspondence with the objectives that we have set ourselves) companies with totally foreign capital," he announced. “We are defending that this wholesale trade is a supplier of raw materials, equipment, inputs, technology to incorporate renewable energies; that is, a provider that promotes and stimulates the non-state and state sectors”, he defended.

It will prioritize “a group of countries”

In this way, the Minister of Internal Trade of Cuba summarized that in the field of wholesale trade there may be three forms of investment: international economic associations, companies with 100% foreign capital and joint ventures, while in the case of retail trade, it will be exclusively for joint ventures.

“The flexibility is that it was restricted and that today it is open for mixed companies. We are going to prioritize a group of countries and partners that have been with us all along. It's going to be a trade that's not restrictive, but it's not open. What has been completely opened up is in the wholesale trade”, he added.

Likewise, the minister announced that the Cuban government is already working on the desired business models, both wholesale and retail, with the aim of immediately putting on the market an offer of goods and services that reverses the complex situation in the country. .

“There are designs made, we are concluding them and all the entities and organizations that currently carry out wholesale and retail trade in the country will participate with us, it is not limited to the commerce sector,” he added, adding that all the joint ventures that today are being studied. there are in the country, "all joint ventures that may have scope in wholesale trade."

“We are going to prioritize and offer these business proposals to companies that have remained in the country,” said Díaz Velázquez, emphasizing that those companies that have been in Cuba for many years and today have representations or branches, will be the first to be approached. I would be in a position to listen and advance entrepreneurially so that businesses can be set up.

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