Cuban economy is expected to grow, despite US blockade

Havana -The Cuban economy forecasts a growth of 0.5 percent in 2019, similar to that of the region, despite the intensification of the US blockade, said Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil.

In his Twitter account, the official quoted a report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) predicting the Cuban economy will not decline this year.

We remain focused on improving the quality of life of the people, which is really important, he added.

According to newspaper Granma, the annual report 'Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2019', recently released in Santiago, Chile, says the region maintains a downward trajectory, due to an international context with greater uncertainties and complexities.

A weak behavior of investment, exports and consumption also influence this trend.

The Minister of Cuban Economy and Planning ratified before Parliament, last July, the economic strategy aimed at defending national production, diversifying and increasing exports, substituting imports, promoting productive chains, strengthening state-owned enterprises.

Likewise, it is intent on achieving food sovereignty, strengthen local development, comply with the Housing Policy, and use science to solve the problems.

At the end of 2018, the Cuban economy showed a growth of 2.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product at constant prices, higher than the estimated 1.2 percent, despite the financial restrictions faced, due to the worsening of the blockade and non-compliance of the expected export earnings, mainly tourism and nickel.

This result was influenced by the increase in construction, public health, agriculture, livestock and forestry.

The measures approved to boost the economy, Alejandro Gil underlined, provide a more favorable environment to take advantage of internal potential and face the siege that the United States Government submits to Cuba six decades ago, and today is intensifying.

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