Published On: Tue, Oct 28th, 2014

Cuban government continues efforts to boost economy

council_of_ministersHAVANA, Cuba - Cuban President Raul Castro presided over a session of the Council of Ministers on Friday, which considered and adopted policies and measures related to the update of the country’s economic model.

The issues on the agenda included the portfolio of opportunities for foreign investment, the aging of the Cuban population, the functions of entrepreneurial units, the registration of state facilities, the urban planning of Santiago de Cuba city and accounting activity.

Cuban vice-president Marino Murillo presented the portfolio of foreign investment, an aspect to be at the centre of the upcoming International Trade Fair next month.

The portfolio approved at the session includes 246 projects to be developed with foreign capital, estimated at $8.7 billion, in crucial sectors, such as agriculture and food, construction, the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry, renewable energy, and others. All these projects are to be implemented in all Cuban provinces.

Also high on the agenda was the aging of the Cuban population, about which Murillo said over the next decades the country will see a trend towards population aging and decrease. This implies, he said, that if such trend is not reversed there will be more deaths than births by 2025 or 2027, with a decrease of the total population in all age groups, except for those 60 years of age and above.

In this respect, the session adopted a policy aimed at encouraging fertility, attending to the growing needs of the older segment of the population, and promoting employment for all citizens able to work.

As to the inefficiencies presented in the foreign trade activity, Rodrigo Malmierca, minister in that sector, said that control has been at the centre of attention in all entities. However, he noted, even when not all irregularities taking place can be detected, control activity in companies and other entities has been reinforced.

Major problems being addressed include those related to inappropriate selection of providers; delayed contracts; incorrect manipulation of merchandize during marketing; transportation and planning problems; lack of quality supervision and technological indiscipline. In this regards, the foreign trade minister said that action has been taken to address such inefficiencies, mainly aimed at increasing the preparation of the personnel linked to foreign trade activity.

The government session also analyzed and adopted measures related to the general urban planning for eastern Santiago de Cuba city; the registration of state facilities during the January-August period in 2014 and the improvement of the entrepreneurial performance and system at the ministry of finances and prices.

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