Cuba in the international market of "the new normality
A more competitive planet, where the bidding among countries to place their products in the international market and attract foreign investment will be done at all costs, without regard, predicted the Head of the Government of the Republic, Manuel Marrero Cruz, for the near future.
The post-COVID-19 world imposes a radical change in the ways of doing foreign trade, attracting foreign investment and working on international collaboration, warned the Prime Minister in a meeting with executives and specialists of the Foreign Trade system to analyze the work projections of the organism for 2021.
“Waiting is not the solution”. The serious economic and social crisis facing humanity due to the pandemic requires greater efforts and our intelligence to adapt in a way that allows us to move forward in spite of everything, he warned.
We have to think, research and innovate, and every step we take must be firm, because we have the most important thing, which is the human potential, the intelligence, the capacities created by the Revolution, reflected the Premier.
Preparing ourselves to compete in the new normality of the world economy requires -he added- changing mentalities, finding new methods to export, import, attract foreign investment and optimize international collaboration, emphasized Marrero Cruz in an analysis of each of the activities of which the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (Mincex) is the governing body.
In presenting the projections of the Mincex for 2021, its head, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, pointed out that despite the complex scenario of 2020, marked by the tightening of the U.S. government blockade against the Cuban people and the global economic and social crisis of the COVID-19, the agency worked on the fulfillment of the tasks corresponding to it in the Economic and Social Strategy (EES) approved in July.
Sixty percent of the measures corresponding to the Mincex – related to expanding and diversifying links with foreign countries – have already been fulfilled, he said.
The EES oriented the agency to actions related to the promotion and diversification of exports, effective import substitution, attracting foreign investment, obtaining resources through trade credits, and promoting international cooperation, both that which Cuba offers and that which it receives.
Malmierca Díaz also explained that the strengthening of the computerization of society in the Mincex has been taking shape, among other actions, with the creation and implementation of one-stop shops for procedures related to foreign trade operations and the establishment of businesses with foreign investment.
He also referred to the beginning, last year, of the provision of export and import services to non-state forms of management through foreign trade companies with payments backed in freely convertible currency (MLC), and the incentive to the creation and consolidation of productive export poles in the territories.
The Mincex minister also analyzed the efficiency of foreign trade operations, the status of bilateral mechanisms and international commitments, and the promotion of business with Cubans living abroad, including 47 identified interests, 13 of which are very likely to move forward.
He highlighted as another achievement of the organization, although still insufficient, the training of personnel linked to foreign trade in the territories, the link with universities and the role of the new generations in the sector, where 31% of jobs are held by young people, many of them women.
In the debate, Lietsa Peña Pacheco, Director of Exports, reported on the intentional and comprehensive work of the Mincex to increase the placement in the international market of traditional and new goods and services, including products that are no longer exported or are exported on a very low scale.
He addressed the work in provinces and municipalities to promote export vocation. Progress is being made in this work, but there are still many reservations, he said, although he praised the successes being achieved in seven territories where the export production centers are being strengthened and the prospects of ten companies that are preparing to take on these powers.
Regarding exports, he pointed out that there has been an awakening, but it is still insufficient. It is necessary to increase the training of the different economic actors, starting with the territories and their authorities. We have to prepare the personnel constantly, and not only to offer new products, but also to guarantee the sustainability and quality of what is sold. At the same time, he said, the Mincex, as the governing body, has to know and comprehensively see the problems of the exporting entities; it has to get involved in the daily life of the economic entities with exporting capacity, the Prime Minister oriented. He called to continue identifying products that can be placed in the international market and avoid the export of raw materials. We have to promote finished products, which have added value and provide more income and development. In a meeting in which Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz also participated, Marrero Cruz said that foreign direct investment (FDI) processes should be streamlined, not bureaucratized, for which, he said, the single windows for FDI and foreign trade should continue to be developed. He also called for further encouraging business in the island by Cubans living abroad. We have made great progress inside the country, with the promotion of non-state forms of management, but those living abroad must have the same opportunities, he emphasized. In FDI, every step we take must be firm, the Premier added, calling for absolute professionalism and seriousness in everything we do, always with the conviction that our only limit is sovereignty and the principles we defend.