With an import-dependent economy and no major natural resources, and blockaded by the world’s most powerful country, it is easy to understand Cuba’s enormous battle to achieve sustainable economic development.
Despite the changes wrought in recent years, the Cuban government continues to seek a driving force for economic growth, and is now advocating for foreign investment. The main incentives promoted by the new Foreign Investment Law are related to tax policies and substantial discounts for those who wish to invest in Cuba.
Businesspeople from all over the world are closely watching what is happening in Cuba, and high-level talks have begun, including with governments that previously did not foster economic relations with the island (such as members of the European Community). Nevertheless, U.S. businesspeople cannot invest in Cuba. An absurd law prevents them from doing so….
Cubans resident abroad, wherever they live, also have had the possibility of investing in their country, but the Cuban government has specified that it is interested in multi-million dollar investments, something to which only a small minority has access.
Anybody who visits the island and chats with Cubans who live there knows that investments have been made by Cubans who live abroad. The small and medium-size private businesses that are developing are mostly doing so thanks to capital that is being invested by those who live outside the country. Some experts have estimated the rate of remittances to Cuba at $2 billion annually, and close to 50 percent of that is being invested, or planned for investment, in small businesses.
Investing in Cuba for Cubans who live abroad is not just an economic option; it is also an emotional, spiritual, and cultural question…. That beneficial and natural relationship should be encouraged.
Photo: Roderto Ruiz