Havana, Apr 17.- Cuba remains without renouncing the projected growth in the economic and social development of the country for the 2022-2026 stage despite the economic contraction of the last year.
This decision of the country’s top management is expressed in the strategy to boost the economy and face the global crisis caused by COVID-19, hence a gradual recovery process is envisaged for this year, which is key control of the pandemic.
A recent editorial in the Granma newspaper recalled that Cuba has not been exempt from the crisis generated by this disease at a global level, which aggravated the difficult and complex underlying panorama in the most fragile economies.
Only in Latin America, the impact of COVID-19 meant a 7.7 percent decrease in its Gross Domestic Product.
For the island, in addition to stopping the generation of income from tourism and the non-commercialization of items such as rum and tobacco, this disease has required investing additional funds to combat it.
These funds are equivalent to more than 2,650 million pesos (the official exchange rate is 24 pesos for one dollar) and 170 million dollars.
As the Cuban authorities have reiterated, they do not skimp on incurring these expenses or those necessary to ensure the products of the regulated family basket and a level of basic goods and services to the population, with special attention to vulnerable population groups.
In order to achieve this endeavor, there have been many obstacles to overcome, firstly the intensified economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States in the midst of the pandemic, and other internal difficulties and deficiencies that force us to work in a dynamic and innovative way.
Since then, transcendental transformations such as the so-called monetary system have been underway, which put an end to the dual currency and exchange rate, and eliminated excessive subsidies and undue gratuities.
Everything to boost the progress of the economy, promote the productive chain, stimulate the national industry and boost exports and import substitution.
The socialist state enterprise with greater financial and management autonomy is also strengthened, self-employment (private) is expanded, and important measures come into force to encourage agricultural production in order to satisfy the demand for food for the population.
It is about unleashing the productive forces in the country, a way also to face the limitations and conceive among all the forms of management, state or not, the economic and social development of the nation in which employment and efficiency are the main source of wealth.
For this year, the Cuban economy envisions a gradual process of recovery, in which control of the pandemic will be decisive.
Thus, an investment plan 22 percent higher than that of 2020 is planned, with a concentration of resources on defense, food production, medicine, tourism, renewable energy sources, cement and steel production, and housing construction.
All this in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda, which is articulated with the National Plan for Economic and Social Development until 2030 and with the Economic and Social Strategy to boost the economy.
Such purposes, plans and programs ratify Cuba’s will to move forward despite any obstacle, for which all potentialities are used, particularly science, in key sectors as demonstrated by the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, among other sectors. (Text and photo: PL)