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Cuba seeks US$8.7 bn in foreign investment

Havana, Nov 4 (EFE).-Cuba is seeking to attract US$8.7 billion in foreign investment with a list of 246 already approved projects in sectors including energy, tourism, agriculture and industry.

Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca opened the 32 Havana business fair with a presentation of the “portfolio of opportunities for foreign investment,” another step by the Communist-ruled island to attract foreign capital as part of President Raul Castro’s plan for economic reform.

Cuba needs foreign resources to sustain “its economic and social development process” and to achieve annual growth rates in the range of 5 percent, which requires investment rates above 20 percent, compared with the current level of 12 percent, the minister said.

“Where are we going to obtain the resources to have a higher investment rate?” Malmierca said. “From resources that come from abroad, because we cannot save enough to invest an additional $2 billion every year.”

The investment portfolio offers 86 oil industry projects, 56 in tourism, 32 in agriculture and food, 13 in renewable energy sources, 10 in manufacturing, 10 in mining, six in construction, four in the sugar sector, three in transportation and one in wholesale trade.

The Foreign Trade Ministry’s document details each one of these projects including the various types of foreign participation (joint venture, partnership, etc.), potential market and project sites, among other aspects.

The goal, Malmierca said, is to “encourage foreign capital” to boost projects that Cuba has identified as necessary for economic development.

“We do not want to improvise,” he said. “We want to invest where we really need it.” EFE

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