Cuba's GDP grew by 0.5 percent despite COVID/US blockade

In 2020, the Cuban GDP grew by 0.5 percent despite the COVID-10 pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the U.S. economic blockade.

Cuba’s Economy Minister Alejandro Gil on Thursday presented to the Congress the 2021 Economic Plan, which aims at reducing imports and ensuring food, fuel, fertilizers, and medicines supplies.

The Plan is focused on boosting state-owned companies by allowing more autonomy to decide on their production, investments, and financing. It also included gradual decentralization in the distribution of foreign currency and the promotion of the Mariel Special Development Zone.

Gil pointed out guidelines for the advancement in agricultural production, exports, and control of foreign debt, noting the role of productive linkages between the state-runed sector, private initiatives, and foreign investment.

It is estimated that total income in foreign currencies will grow by 10.4 percent but it will be 16.2 percent less than the one achieved in 2019.

As for exports, it is planned to grow 19 percent in foreign currency income from sales of goods and services, including a gradual recovery of tourism with a projected arrival of 2.2 million visitors in 2021.

Food and fuel sectors represent 37 percent of total imports, while renewable energy sources reach a 6.3 percent share in the electric generation structure.

Gil highlighted that although the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) did not reach the planned 1.5 percent in 2019. Nevertheless, it is significant the 0.5 percent growth achieved amid the pandemic and the U.S. blockade.

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