XVM8c64be7c-f72d-11e4-908c-f66e197407beHAVANA, June 11   Cuba expects to unveil a new enterprise law in 2017, in keeping with economic reforms launched four years ago, the Cuban News Agency reported.

The new legislation would “bring together the principles, characteristics and operational requirements of companies,” Grisel Trista Arbesu, an official with Cuba’s Permanent Commission for the Implementation and Development of the Guidelines, the body responsible for implementing the reforms, was quoted as saying.

The year 2015 “is the first year to see the convergence of all the measures adopted to grant socialist state firms more autonomy and capacity … in search for greater efficiency and productivity, ” she said at the closing of a two-day workshop held in Havana on the “Challenges of the Cuban Economy.”

Among these changes, the most important has been “separating the functions of the government from those of business,” she told the workshop which draw 645 specialists, managers and academics from around the country.

These steps have allowed the government to restructure state companies to both strengthen the country’s productive sector and increase the capacities of the country’s state-owned enterprise system, Trista said.

State-owned enterprises continue to form the foundation of Cuba ‘s economic model, “capable of promoting true development,” she said.

Cuba’s state-run enterprise system was regulated for two decades by legislation approved in 1987. Since officially taking office in 2008, President Raul Castro spearheaded reforms designed to whittle down the bloated public sector by encouraging limited private enterprise.

Once the country’s sole employer, the state has gradually shed thousands of employees who have made the transition to the fledgling private sector, which now employs about half a million workers.