20 recommendations to unblock the private sector in Cuba

HAVANA, Jan. 23th A list prepared with the help of many Cuban entrepreneurs to suggest to the Cuban government concrete steps to strengthen self-employment and small businesses.
Responding to the statements made by the President of the Republic, here are 20 recommendations to unblock everything that hinders the performance of the private sector in Cuba.

1 To create a commission made up by the government, academics and self-employed workers to review the current regulations published in the Official Gazette No. 85 of November 6, 2019. To identify still existing problems regarding the sector’s contribution to the national economy and prepare a proposal of measures to solve them.

2 To draw up, with the participation of the self-employed, cooperative members, state businesspeople, academics, jurists and civil servants, the legal norms that will recognize small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and will define their duties and rights in the national economy.

3 To resume the constitution of non-agricultural cooperatives (CNA), especially in activities that may be proposed by citizens and not only in those that are of interest to the authorities. To review the approved regulations to perfect the CNA management system published in the Official Gazette No. 63 of 2019.

4 To eliminate the list of authorized self-employment activities and establish a list of banned activities.

5 To authorize the individual provision of professional services as self-employed and grouped into CNAs or SMEs in activities such as architecture, interior design, graphic design, accounting, law, consultancy services, communication, advertising, economics, software developer, marketing, audiovisual production, among other.

6 To foster and support especially the ventures associated with international tourism, agriculture, software development and other activities that may have an impact on exports or import substitution.

7 To recognize private workers and SMEs as subjects of the law in force for foreign investment. To authorize the legal, safe and orderly participation in private businesses of foreign capital and of Cubans residing abroad.

8 To create wholesale supply mechanisms which can be managed by state enterprises, by foreign companies or by joint entities.

9 To facilitate bank loans through state commercial banks and also give access to microcredit platforms of foreign institutions and companies.

10 To offer the hiring of telecommunication services (land lines, mobile telephony and Internet) that proposition advantageous prices and a package of services specially designed for private workers and SMEs.

11 To authorize private workers to import commercially, either directly or through state-owned enterprises authorized for such purposes, raw materials, services, technology and equipment.

12 To authorize private workers who are interested or have the appropriate conditions to export their products and services, either directly or through state-owned enterprises authorized for such purposes.

13 To modify the fiscal policy applied to private workers in a way that is more flexible and adapted to the reality and particularities of existing types of businesses. Among other issues, the deduction of 100% of the expenses obtained should be allowed, taxing profits instead of total income and changing the established method to a fairer and more reasonable progressive scale for the purpose of taxes payable.

14 To eliminate the tax on the use of the labor force in such a way that this tax does not constitute a discouragement to the formalization of jobs in the sector and the disciplined payment of taxes.

15 To create a state institution that centralizes government resources and efforts to encourage, regulate and support the growth and orderly incorporation of the private sector into the national economy.

16 To authorize the constitution of an association of private entrepreneurs and self-employed workers that allows them to channel their interests and dialogue with the government in an orderly manner and be taken into account in the decision-making processes related to them.

17 To allow private workers and SMEs to be created to join the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba, so that they have access to the benefits that this implies and can participate in fairs, events, trade missions and delegations it organizes.

18 To establish transparent, auditable and reliable tender mechanisms in which private workers and SMEs can compete to provide their services to public entities and institutions. To make transparent and publicly tender the delivery of state premises to private workers and CNAs for the development of their activities.

19 To eliminate the intermediary role that some state institutions play in the case of artists, creators, designers and communicators. Not to constitute new entities of this type for other activities that in the future will be approved. All, once authorized to carry out their activities in a legal manner, will be allowed to contract their services directly, and without the mediation of third parties, with state-owned enterprises, foreign companies and with individuals, for which they will only have to pay the corresponding taxes.

20 To create a mechanism to report corrupt officials who interpret and apply the regulations in force for the exercise of self-employment with the objective of obtaining bribes or kickbacks.

First published on Oncubanews