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Prime Minister announces actions for Cuba’s economic recovery

Havana, Dec 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced today a group of actions aimed at increasing foreign currency income, increasing national production, and reducing the budget deficit.

During the Second Ordinary Period of Sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP, parliament) in its 10th Legislature, he expressed that the Caribbean nation is working in a scenario of war economy, aggravated by the impact of the blockade imposed by the United States and by international crises.

Marrero expressed the government’s dissatisfaction with not having made the necessary progress in reducing the impact of these external problems and regretted the persistence of subjective issues and other insufficiencies that affect the capacity to fulfill the projections of economic recovery, which must be faced in 2024.

In this regard, he stressed the importance of the Macroeconomic Stabilization Program, which aims to restore the balances that will guarantee a favorable environment for growth. This program is part of the National Development Plan until 2030 and requires the participation of various institutions to strengthen fiscal and financial discipline and productive transformation.

With respect to the objective of increasing foreign exchange income, he mentioned the need to increase exports of goods and services, recover tourism, boost nickel, tobacco, and rum production, resize the foreign exchange market, and recover remittance flows.

He referred to the implementation of a new mechanism for the allocation and management of liquidity for all economic stakeholders, which will include the use of new means of payment or foreign currency cards to which incentives will be applied for the purchase of goods and services, and which may be recharged from abroad or in cash.

In addition, measures will be implemented so that non-state enterprises can make their imports with payments from Cuba, boost electronic commerce with payments from abroad, continue the renegotiation of foreign debt, and increase foreign investment.

Regarding the goal of encouraging domestic production, he pointed out actions such as the use of cooperative production contracts with foreign investors and non-state actors, reducing by 50%, for all economic stakeholders, the payment of tariffs on imports of raw materials and intermediate goods; and raising tariff rates on imports of some ready-to-sell products manufactured in the country, such as cigars, cigarettes, rums, and beers.

Regarding how to reduce the budget deficit, he indicated the need to identify all the reserves for the capture of new sources of income and to advance in the reduction of State Budget expenses.