HAVANA.- In an effort to streamline the evaluation and authorization processes of foreign capital projects in Cuba, the Extraordinary Official Gazette number 38 publishes this Thursday a package of provisions that modify complementary rules to Law 188 on Foreign Investment.

It is a decree and three resolutions that will enter into force within 30 calendar days, and that update the rules for this activity approved in 2014 as part of the updating of the Cuban economic model.

One of the main changes is included in Decree 347, modifying the Regulations of Law 188, since from now on the dossier to be presented by the investor for its evaluation and approval will include a technical economic pre-feasibility study, that is, with fewer requirements.

At a press conference, Déborah Rivas, director general of Foreign Investment at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (Mincex), said that this request should now be complemented by a business feasibility analysis.

She clarified that this does not mean the elimination of permits set for the establishment of investors in the country, such as environmental standards, for example.

The specialist said the purpose is to remove obstacles and make the process of presenting the file easier, which will be reviewed -as it happens today- by a commission of 16 institutions or agencies in search of the proposal is of interest to the nation.

Also in order to pave the way for those interested in investing in Cuba, the methodological bases for the presentation of technical and financial information were adapted to international standards.

The new manual explains to national consultants and investors how to carry out the economic evaluation of projects, simplifies the number of tables to be displayed, and incorporates sector-specific indicators.

Such transformations, Rivas said, respond to requests from the consultants who accompany the investors in the presentation of the business, as they argue that the current procedure did not allow them to make an in-depth analysis.

She insisted that the rules do not solve everything, because speeding up the approval of projects requires, in turn, the commitment of the businessmen and organizations involved.

Also published this Thursday is Resolution number 14 of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, which repeals the current Resolution 16 referring to the labor regime of foreign investment.

Yudelvis Álvarez, legal director of this body, specified that no significant modifications are introduced, but rather that they are clarifications to issues such as the solution of labor disputes.

Recently, the President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel, insisted on the need to give greater boost to foreign investment in order to promote the country's development; "we must be creative and take risks, without affecting our sovereignty".

The Council of Ministers approved a series of decisions, including monthly dispatches to check foreign capital businesses on a case-by-case basis.

It was recognized that, in addition to objective issues such as the US blockade and monetary and exchange rate duality, there are still subjective and organizational factors that limit the progress of this activity.

Official analyses show that Cuba needs to attract around two billion dollars each year through foreign investment in order to accelerate the low rates of economic growth.


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