HAVANA, Nov. 17th Hundreds of foreign entrepreneurs gathered in Havana, the capital of Cuba, as the island’s communist regime hosted a business conference to attract foreign investment.As of Tuesday, as many as 30 investment proposals worth more than US$400 million were approved.
Cuba is reeling from an unprecedented economic crisis, with food and medicine shortages worsening and inflation rising.
Though the communist administration blames COVID-19 and US sanctions for its economic downturn, economists are increasingly asking it to open up the domestic market to foreign players.
The government seems to be conceding to some of the demands. It issued business licenses to more than 550 small and medium entrepreneurs over the past year.
“We have to banish all that unnecessary bureaucracy and generate new opportunities that are attractive to foreign businessmen,” stated Prime Minister Manuel Marrero in his inaugural speech at the ongoing investment summit.
The event, which will last until November 18, hopes to welcome as many as 400 companies representing more than 60 countries around the globe.
The island recently cut its economic growth forecast for 2022 from 4% to 2% after analysts estimated that the country’s economic output had declined 9.8% since 2019.