1. Market Research
Country Forecast Cuba August 2017

Country Forecast Cuba August 2017

  • August 2017
  • ID: 1698171
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit

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Policy towards private enterprise and competition


2017-18: Rising number of self-employed, small businesses and co-operatives, but expansion held back by difficult access to wholesale supplies and heavy regulation. Small businesses attain legal status. Price controls used to contain inflation.


2019-21: Private and co-operative business growth picks up as institutions strengthen, but state regulation remains onerous. Some price controls are scaled back. Expansion of financial instruments required for private-sector growth.


Policy towards foreign investment


2017-18: New investments in extractive, infrastructure, manufacturing and leisure sectors in joint ventures, but tougher US stance deters potential investors who had hoped for an imminent lifting of sanctions.


2019-21: Foreign investor interest grows, and options expand for investment in production for the domestic market, but tight government controls and delays to monetary reform continue to act as disincentives.


Foreign trade and exchange controls


2017-18: Substantial state control of overseas transactions persists. Non-state enterprises grow, but only slowly, as they struggle to reach new markets and source inputs.


2019-21: Gradual revaluation of the Cuban peso in preparation for eventual unification of the two currencies.


Taxes


2017-18: Tax collection from local enterprises improves, but large informal economy hampers progress. Income tax collection from state workers begins. Foreign firms benefit from tax concessions and guarantees.


2019-21: New industrial cluster grows to benefit from tax breaks in the Special Economic Development Zone of Mariel.


Financing


2017-18: The settling of Paris Club debt brings improvement in access to some international finance, but US sanctions remain an obstacle. Capacity-building within the domestic financial system, but lending increases only gradually.


2019-21: The central bank oversees acceleration in the pace of development of the domestic financial sector, to create a wider range of credit instruments, a domestic market in financial instruments and easier access to international finance.


The labour market


2017-18: Labour costs for highly skilled workers are more competitive (relative to other countries) than those for unskilled labour, owing to the unusually flat state wage structure. Rationalisation and reform improve incentives and efficiency.


2019-21: Reforms facilitate greater mobility and productivity growth. Non-state sector absorbs workers laid off by the state.


Infrastructure


2017-18: New investment improves transport, water and telecoms infrastructure. Increased internet connectivity boosts possibilities for expansion and diversification of international trade and innovation within the domestic economy.


2019-21: Increased foreign financing allows modernisation of transport, communications and basic services infrastructure.



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