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LatinNews Daily - 09 August 2021

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In brief: Cuba approves law authorising MSMEs

* The Cuban government has approved legislative decrees creating micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) in what is the latest major reform of the Cuban economy. Economy & Planning Minister Alejandro Gil Fernández said the government is “currently working [on]…the norms that will rule the organisation and functioning of these companies dedicated to the production of goods and services, conceived with legal personality, both for the state and private sector.” Gil said that as regards private MSMEs, the first “will be created from the current businesses run by self-employed workers” which account for some 13% of the labour force. He said “we are conducting a study to see which [state-run businesses organisations] could join this experience.” These MSMEs, which will have the same management model regardless of the type of property, will take the legal form of a private limited company. This follows the government’s announcement in February that it would allow small private businesses to operate in most sectors in a bid to shore up the domestic economy, which is projected to have shrunk by 11% in 2020 as a result of the triple crisis posed by the coronavirus (Covid-19), US economic sanctions, and the ongoing economic collapse of key ally Venezuela; and follows the mass protests last month over economic and health-related grievances.