LatinNews Daily - 18 August 2022

In brief: Cuba to open up retail trade to foreign companies

* Cuba’s government has announced it will open up wholesale and retail trade to foreign companies, with some restrictions, as part of efforts to address food shortages and increase the availability of products. Economy Minister Alejandro Gil tweeted that “amid the strong restrictions that we face, foreign investment in mixed ventures, with State regulation, will permit the expansion and diversification of what is on offer to the population and will contribute to the recovery of national industry”. Domestic Trade Minister Betsy Díaz Velázquez was cited by the Miami Herald as saying that the government will allow foreign investment in the retail sector but only in association with the state in mixed ventures. The move is in line with 75 new economic measures announced by Gil on 21 July to stimulate Cuba’s flailing economy, which grew just 1.3% in 2021 after contracting 10.9% in 2020.

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