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Cuban GDP grows 2.7 percent in 2013; dual currency to be unified
Published on December 23, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) -- Cuba’s gross domestic product grew 2.7 percent this year, according to estimates announced by economy and planning minister Adel Yzquierdo, who said that the figure did not reach the expected 3.6 percent increase.

Meanwhile vice-president Marino Murillo announced that the drawing up of a timetable for the unification of the two currencies circulating in Cuba is now ready for implementation to gradually eliminate the convertible peso and keep the national currency Cuban peso.

Addressing the Cuban Parliament’s plenary session on Saturday, Yzquierdo explained that the expected GDP target was not met due to the failure in meeting hard-currency revenues during a year. He said it was complicated for the island to reach the scheduled income on time.

Some of the negative factors cited by the minister included the failure to meet scheduled activities in the construction and manufacture sectors, due to industrial breakdowns caused by lack of maintenance and other irregularities. Some of the sectors that failed to meet export schedules included the nickel and the tourist areas.

Food imports increased to over $1.7 billion, some $203 million less than scheduled, but more than in 2012 because local food production did not meet its goals, particularly in commodities such as milk, rice and beans.

Also addressing deputies in the Cuban Parliament, Murillo said that the currency unification measure will offer guarantees to those who have banking accounts or funds in convertible pesos, known as CUC, and he affirmed that they will also keep the financial capacity.

However, he said, the monetary unification will not be the definitive solution to the economic problems facing the country. Murillo also explained that the efficiency of the Cuban entrepreneurial system will continue to be at the center of efforts next year to increase exports and replace costly imports.
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