HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) -- The president of Cuba Raul Castro described the ongoing update of the Cuban economic model as positive, as he said that the process is making firm steps into major issues.
In his closing speech of the tenth session of the Cuban National Assembly, Castro said that all actions relevant to this process are aimed at developing a sustainable and prosperous socialist society.
Castro evaluated different production areas in 2012 and he acknowledged increasing results if compared to last year, as well as the favourable growing trend of the country’s gross domestic product.
However, he said, there are still problems that have prevailed for many years and he pointed to the lack of integrity in investment projects due to weak preparation, delays in the delivery of necessary resources, low productivity and lack of labour.
These factors lead to the failure of meeting timetables, the postponement of projects, with an impact on the economy. He stressed the need to do away with lack of action, superficiality and improvisation prevailing in most investment processes.
Castro stressed the positive balance between the average salary growth and productivity, the increase of oil and gas production and the progressive reduction of the foreign debt on the basis of honoring compromises, which allows recovering the international credibility of Cuban economy.
He described the country’s expected 3.7 economic growth for 2013 as acceptable, bearing in mind the context imposed by the continuous global economic crisis, the stiffening of the US economic blockade, the restrictions to access financial markets and the price increase of food and oil, among other unfavourable factors.
The Cuban president referred to the most recent decrees issued to favour economic efficiency, production increase and the reduction of imports, whose prices continue to grow at the world market.
He mentioned the new tax law, the implementation of new methodological measures aimed at setting wholesale and retail prices, the experimental project setting up cooperatives and the testing of modern techniques in entrepreneurial management in order to increase efficiency.
All these aspects, he said, require a mindset change, which is a battle in progress, and which has contributed to the current training system of leaders and executives.
Castro acknowledged the recent population and housing census, which he described as a very significant event for the long-term development of the country.
He also recognized the efforts by Cuban citizens in the provinces of Holguin, Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba, who were able to face the consequences of hurricane Sandy, after the storm inflicted huge material damage.
Last October, Cuba issued new migration regulations that lifted restrictions, eliminated or simplified procedures, which have had a positive impact on the people, particularly on Cuban emigration.