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flag Cuba Cuba: Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Cuba | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities

 

FDI in Figures

In a context where global foreign investment increased by 10.9% in 2013, in particular in Europe (+25.2%) and in Latin America (+17.5%), FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of US$759 billion. However macroeconomic fragility and policy uncertainties are driving investors to caution.

Since 1993, the island has progressively opened up to foreign investment, but in a selective way. In contrary to the Cuban government declarations, the island ranks among the last countries in the world in terms of receiving FDI, according to the UNCTAD. Even though all sectors are open to FDI, the government defined in 2007 the strategic economic sectors that should be prioritized for investment. The government favours investments that provide advanced technology and contribute to the infrastructures such as tourism, mining, oil and any other activities that can help to develop and to supply goods for local consumption. The access to the retail and food service sectors is very difficult for foreign investors.
In 2013 FDI only reached over 100 million USD.

The main foreign investors in Cuba, generally in the form of joint investments with Cuban state enterprises, are Spain, Canada, Venezuela, Italy and France. Venezuela has made a number of strategic investments in the field of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, in the form of joint ventures and mutual investments.

China, with its petrochemical project worth $6.5 billion and substantial financial support, has become a very important partner for Cuba.

Information on the 2013 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Why You Should Choose to Invest in Cuba

Strong Points
The law regarding direct foreign investment is relatively flexible and, in theory, it allows investment in all economical sectors. However, the government favors and offers more advantages to investments that can bring advanced technology, open new markets or provide an amount of capital which Cuba cannot bring in alone, allowing the country to have the freewill of substituting imports.
Weak Points
Cuba's economy remains strongly centralized, which forces FDI, in most cases, to consider the Cuban government as a trade partner.
The government is the only one to authorize investments. In addition, the country's political risk remains high (6 of 7).
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Free industrial trade zones have been established in order to attract foreign investors (for example: Havana in Bond, the Wajav zone or the port zone of Mariel). They are exempt of income tax on profits as well as labor tax, also exempt of customs duty and any other additional duties on merchandises introduced in the free zone. The tax exemption is valid for 12 years. The following five years, the company is taxed only 50%. For commercial activities and services, the exemption period is extended for 5 years.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
No
Acquisition of Holdings
In Cuba, majority shareholding in a local company is allowed .
Obligation to Declare
The country's World Association of Investment Promotion Agency enables one to be able to inform himself on the necessary authorisations required to set up.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Ministry of Trade and Foreign Investment
Requests For Specific Authorizations
No

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Cuba on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Evaluation and Project Investment management leadership ( DEGPI)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Cuba
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Cuba
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Law no. 77 on foreign investment (in Spanish)
Website on foreign investment registration (Spanish only)
 
 

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Learn more about Investing in Cuba on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014