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Cuba lifts private business rules

Regional 08 Feb, 2021 Follow News

Cuban business owners may get a boost

Cuba has announced it will allow private businesses to operate in most industries, in what is a major reform to its state-controlled economy.

The list of authorised industries had expanded from 127 to more than 2,000. Only a minority of industries would be reserved for the state, she said.

The communist country's economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and US sanctions introduced by the Trump administration. Cubans have been facing shortages of basic goods.

Apart from hundreds of thousands of small farms, Cuba's non-state sector is composed mainly of small private businesses run by artisans, taxi drivers and tradesmen. Around 600,000 people, around 13 percent of the workforce, joined the private sector when the opportunity arose.

However, a large number of private businesses are involved in the island's tourist industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic and sanctions.

Given how slowly reforms tend to move in Cuba, it may still be some time before the change is noticeable in daily economic life.

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