Foreign investors keen on Cuba despite US sanctions, says president

Thursday, 2019-07-11 10:40:27
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Increasing sanctions imposed by the United States have failed to discourage foreign investors from doing business in Cuba, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on July 10.

Addressing a parliamentary session to assess economic and social issues, Diaz-Canel acknowledged Washington has stepped up its sanctions regime against Cuba in an effort to cut off its access to revenue and capital.

However, foreign businesses continue to propose new investment projects, signalling their confidence in Cuba's economy, said the president.

Foreign investors have particularly criticized the application of Title III of the US Helms-Burton Act, which allows US lawsuits against foreign companies operating in Cuba with assets nationalized or expropriated following the 1959 Revolution.

According to the president, foreign companies showed their confidence in Cuba with a record-breaking attendance at Havana's International Trade Fair in November 2018, and again a few months later, at the International Tourism Fair and the Cuba-UK business forum.

Because Cuba needs fresh capital, modern technology and know-how for development, his administration encourages foreign investment, especially in key sectors like tourism, construction and agriculture, which will serve to spur other areas, said Diaz-Canel.

Cuba needs at least US$2.5 billion in foreign investment each year to maintain a constant rate of development, the government estimates.