The Miguel Díaz-Canel government will allow small private companies to operate in most fields, eliminating the restrictive list of only 127 activities on their own that were allowed.
The economic crisis in Cuba has forced a series of long-promised, albeit stalled, reforms. From the devaluation of the currency and the reorganization of the monetary system, to some deregulation of state-owned companies and foreign investment.
The turn this time is for the list of private activities allowed in Cuba. With its removal, the Government of Miguel Díaz-Canel plans to promote job creation and reactivate an economy hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.
Today, there is a list of 127 self-employed activities allowed on the island. Instead, there will be another one that includes 124 limited or prohibited occupations, which implies that the private sector will be able to enter the other sectors.
A boost to job creation
The private sector directly employs 600,000 people and accounts for 13% of the employed population, according to official data.
The Cuban Minister of Labor and Social Security, Marta Elena Feitó, quoted by local media, said that now the possibility of private individuals to participate in at least 2,000 activities to generate more jobs will be open.
And, although at the moment the list of activities that remain prohibited is not known, it is to be expected that sectors such as health, education, telecommunications, energy or the press will remain.
The Cuban Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil, described the elimination of the list as “a very important step in terms of expanding the possibilities of employment in self-employment, to provide a timely and positive response to the implementation of the monetary system in the country”.
This measure is part of a longer series of reforms with which the government aims to increase exports, cut imports and stimulate domestic demand.
It also comes a month after Cuba, whose Gross Domestic Product fell 11% in 2020, launched its long-postponed monetary and exchange unification on January 1.
With this economic reform, the convertible peso CUC (parity to the dollar) was eliminated, accompanied by a significant devaluation of the Cuban peso within the state sector, the increase in wages and prices, and the withdrawal of generalized state subsidies.
With EFE and Reuters