Economic Report, Thursday, Oct 3, 2013

Edited by Eduardo González
2013-10-03 16:47:51


Cuban Officials Expect 20% Increase in Sugar Production

Cuba expects to increase raw sugar production to 1.8 million tonnes, a 20% increase over the previous harvest, officials said in Havana.

The country is "at the doors of a harvest during which Cuba proposes to increase 20% its contribution of sugar," said officials participating in a national meeting of the Sugar Company Group, AZCUBA.

Cuba produced 1.5 million tonnes of raw sugar during the previous harvest, short of the 1.7 million tones planned, due to complications derived from the passing of Hurricane Sandy and organizational and industrial problems.

The purpose of the meeting was to review preparations for the upcoming harvest that begins in December and runs through April. It came at the conclusion of the September cane estimate used to begin negotiating export contracts.

Between 600,000 and 700,000 tonnes of Cuba's sugar production goes to domestic consumption, 400,000 to an export agreement with China and the remainder, for other destinations.

Cuban Govt Approves Economic Updating Measures

Cuba's Council of Ministers, headed by President Raul Castro, has adopted various measures and policies to implement the Guidelines established by the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.

The first of those provisions issued by Cuba's highest executive and administrative body is aimed at updating the national medicine program for the population.
Marino Murillo, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, stressed that the country is looking to achieve greater capacity and more stability at pharmacies and hospitals.

The new policy also proposes the inclusion of natural and traditional medicine in the basic pharmaceutical supply, with the Council ruling that a program created to develop so-called green medicine be brought up to date.

In regard to this issue, Murillo stressed that cooperatives and individual producers have much to offer in the production of medicinal plants, valuable in the fight against many diseases.

Reports from Cuba's nightly TV news program said that the Council also decided to build and repair additional senior citizen centers and nursing homes between 2013 and 2015, due to the increase in the aging population.

A third group of non-agricultural cooperatives, 73 associations in all, dedicated to food service, recreation, industry, construction, and transportation, was also approved by the Council.

The final data from the 2012 Population and Housing Census will be shortly published, it was also revealed.

A proposal to improve the Ministry of Construction was also approved in order to reduce a high percentage of budgeted positions, moving them to the business system for greater efficiency.

Raul Castro called on representatives from many state agencies to find solutions to respond to the needs of the population.

Some 160 Experts Attended Cuban Nature Event

Cuban beautiful environment and cultural traditions were enough attractions for 160 foreign experts who recently attended the 9th International Meeting on Nature Tourism "Turnat 2013."

Scheduled from September 24th to 28th, the event held in Bayamo city, located in the eastern province of Granma. Tour operators, travel agents, naturalists, tour managers and other experts on these matters, such as representatives from Canada, Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China and the host country took part in the event, said promotion and advertising expert from the Ecotur travel agency, Briggitte Manso.

The executive said the main objective of the event was to promote the tourism potential in Granma province through academic lectures and tours of the region.

The event also included commercial exhibitions and exchange of views to create a special place for the region's environment on the international market of nature tourism and adventures.

China-Cuba Sign New Economic Accords in Beijing

Cuba and China recently completed the 15th Session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, ending with the signing of a bilateral economic agenda for the coming 5 years.

Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, told Prensa Latina news agency that the agenda will facilitate working in a more organized fashion and with a medium-term goal, including the adoption of 9 documents on concrete economic projects and the Final Act of the Intergovernmental Commission.

On the topic, a seminar on the creation of the Economic Development Zone at Mariel, located some 45 km., west of Havana, an attractive place that has aroused great interest worldwide, was also given.

The Cuban minister also met with many companies and banking entities in China, as well as with Li Bin, minister for National Health and Family Planning.

Cubana Airline to Restart Paris-Santa Clara Flights

Cuba's flagship airline, Cubana de Aviacion, will restart direct weekly flights between Paris and Santa Clara, Cuba, in November, according to the airline's deputy director, Margarita Godoy.

The Paris-Santa Clara route is aimed at diversifying Cuba's tourism offer and promoting an influx of visitors to the Island's northern cays, said Godoy, who was in Paris for the Top Resa Tourism Fair.

Godoy added that the Paris-Villa Clara flight comes in addition to Cubana de Aviacion's year-round weekly flights to France with a stopover in Santiago de Cuba, while the Paris-Santa Clara direct flights began last year, and will be resumed between Novembre 21st and April 27th, the tourism high season, the executive said.

Cubana de Aviacion has an important participation in the Top Resa Tourism Fair, together with companies such as Cubanacan, Gran Caribe, Gaviota, Cubatur, Habaguanex, and Havanatur.

The four-day Top Resa Tourism Fair included more than 1,100 trade firms from all continents.



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