Cuban economy in exceptional environment in the first months of 2021
Tomado de: ACN
25 de May de 2021
Alejandro Gil Fernández, Cuba’s deputy prime minister and minister of Economy and Planning, described the scenario in which the Cuban economy has performed during the first four months of 2021 as an exceptional environment.. At a press conference held today in this capital, the head of state pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic and the tightening of the U.S. blockade have an impact on the shortage of supply, although modest results can be seen in indicators that point to a recovery and the aspiration of economic growth in 2021 of around six percent is maintained. Gil Fernández explained that this projection is supported by the aspiration of reaching 2.2 million tourists, the favorable performance of exports such as nickel and telecommunications services, and the consolidation and linkage of the socialist state enterprise and the non-state management forms. He pointed out that if Cuba grows in 2021 and 2022 around six percent, it will recover the economic fall that occurred in 2019 and 2020, years when the country’s Gross Domestic Product was negative. He also highlighted as actions in this period the expansion of non-state work, the territorial development policy and the development of more than 100 programs linked to the National Plan for Economic and Social Development. He added that the country has approved 60 measures to increase and encourage agricultural production, which aim to break the monopoly and eliminate obstacles in the commercialization and decentralize prices. At this stage, 15 measures for the strengthening of the socialist state enterprise were announced, which join others previously approved that have the purpose of providing greater autonomy to what is considered the main economic actor of the Cuban model. It is not only about resisting but also about developing and the main obstacle to this is the economic, financial and commercial blockade of the United States, which since 2019 has been intensified in the economic sphere. The incumbent said that in the last stage this genocidal policy generated losses between 12 and 15 million dollars a day, in addition to other impacts associated with financial persecution, obstacles to the collection and payment of monies, discouragement to foreign investment, hindering access to fuel and the rise in the price of inputs. Cuba is not giving up the projected economic growth, despite the blockade policies remaining unchanged, said Gil Fernandez. Gil Fernandez said. He argued that due to the impact of COVID-19, several activities have been paralyzed and expenses associated with the country’s fight against this disease have been increased by between 300 million dollars and two billion pesos. In assessing the implementation of the monetary order, he pointed out that although the measure had design problems in its implementation, it is not the cause of current problems such as the shortage of supply, which is based on the lack of liquidity in the country, the tightening of the U.S. blockade and the impact of the pandemic. He highlighted that in the first months of this measure, which meant the monetary and exchange unification and the devaluation of the Cuban peso against the dollar, exports of goods have grown with respect to the same period of 2020, more than 150 thousand jobs have been created and progress has been made in the measurement of economic facts, which encourages efficiency and allows a better conduction of economic policies.