Cuba: green light for the first investment of foreign capital in the commerce sector

The Ministry of Domestic Trade (Mincin) of Cuba approved the creation of the mixed company Gran Ferretero SA, the first with foreign capital that arises from the foreign investment policy modification in that sector, according to official media on the island.

The purpose of the new entity is to conceive a large hardware store to sell a wide variety of items, including construction materials. It must start its operations during the first quarter of 2023, according to a note published by the official newspaper Granma.

The formula would allow the commercialization of these articles, wholesale and retail, to the different actors of the Cuban economy, and arises from an international economic association between the purely Cuban mercantile company, Albius SA, and a hardware group of Spain whose name is not mentioned in the report.

Raúl Delgado Rodríguez, technical director of the Grupo Comercializador de Productos Industriales y de Servicios, assured the outlet that the project “has conceived the integration of national production” with the offer of various products, a manifest interest throughout the negotiation process .

“The foreign party has referred to its agreement to incorporate national productions, since this also brings benefits and lowers costs in the transportation of merchandise,” he said.

The facilities of Gran Ferretero will be set up in Factory 12, in the municipality of Old Havana, and the investment process to recondition its warehouses is underway.

It also transpired that Albus SA associated with the Italian company Farmaventa for the management of a new electronic sales platform aimed at marketing on-line food, toiletries and another range of products.

Foreign investment to recover Cuban trade: now yes?

The executive clarified that these businesses with foreign investment will operate, including sales, in freely convertible currency (MLC) until a balance is achieved in the internal currency market in Cuba.

The income obtained by the Cuban side with the operation of these establishments would be used to replenish the internal market in Cuban pesos, with better and greater offers to the population, said Delgado Rodríguez.

Until recently, the wholesale and retail trade on the Island was prohibited for foreign investment in any of its variants, but this policy was made more flexible with the purpose of placing intermediate consumption goods on the Cuban market, as well as inputs and raw materials that allow reactivate the national industry.

Since its approval, contacts have been established with businessmen from various countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Russia, India, Italy, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, he says. Granma.

Among the proposals already underway is the start-up of a wholesale marketing center with a network of retail stores that allows for a stable supply of fabrics, haberdashery and accessories, among other things.

It is also planned to promote a storage and distribution center for food products that require conservation or freezing, with logistics appropriate to the characteristics of each one without interruption in the cold chain.

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