Among Cuba’s priorities today is to increase national food production, a need that will remain at the top of the economic agenda in 2021, said Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil.
Gil, who is also the Minister of Economy and Planning, participated in the TV and radio program Mesa Redonda, Round Table. He explained that increasing the capacity to produce food will favor the supply, the replacement of imports, and the monetary balance.
In addition to this first point, there is a need to promote local development, increase exports, and maintain investments in steel and cement production.
These elements are part of the country’s Economic-Social Strategy, implemented several months ago to face the government crisis derived from the COVID pandemic and the US blockade’s tightening.
According to Gil, these relevant aspects are also included in the economic plan for the coming year, which will be submitted for approval in the next ordinary session of the National Assembly of People’s Power scheduled for December 16.
The 2021 plan foresees a gradual growth in the levels of supply of products in national currency. However, it will still be far from satisfying the demand, for that we have to control the pandemic, recover tourism and exports, the minister said.
He also said that the 2021 plan includes some 200 new local development projects that will positively impact the labor market and allow local resources to satisfy the demand for goods and services and even to export.
Also, he referred to the steps taken to implement the more than 300 measures included in the Economic and Social Strategy.
In this regard, he mentioned the progress made in the gradual decentralization of the mechanism for allocating foreign exchange in the economy. This process has already been implemented in 180 companies, which now have greater autonomy to manage their income and replenish themselves.
On the other hand, Gil stated that the announced monetary and exchange reform will encourage a more favorable environment for the linkages among the Cuban economic model’s different actors.
As part of the balance of the economy, Gil elaborated on the reasons that forced the country to resort to the sale of products in freely convertible currency (MLC) in a group of stores and not in local currencies, which has generated adverse opinions among the population.
He stated that it is a decision of social justice because thanks to this income, it is possible to guarantee primary staple products amid the current complex scenario.