Cuba approves new law to attract investors
HAVANA, Cuba (CMC):
Cuba's National Assembly on Saturday passed a new foreign investment law, that aims to bring badly needed capital to the island by offering steep tax cuts and promising a climate of investment security.
The assembly voted unanimously in a special session to approve the law that will become valid within 90 days. The new law halves the profits tax from 30 to 15 per cent; and exempts investors from paying it for eight years.
Analysts and diplomats have expressed scepticism over the law, uncertain whether the one-party state has undergone a genuine change of heart, and truly wants to attract foreign investors on international terms.
Areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, sugar, nickel mining, building renovation and real estate development are considered ripe for investment.
According to Minister for Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, the country needs to attract US$2 billion to US$2.5 billion in foreign direct investment per year, to reach its economic growth target of seven per cent.
Cuba is cut off from US investment by the trade embargo; and has failed to meet its investment targets for each of the past five years.
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