AT A GLANCE
Official Name: Republic of Cuba
Chief of State: President Raul Castro
Next Election: 2013
Population: 11.20 million (UN, 2009)
Independence: 1902 from Spain
Human Development Index: 51 of 182 countries (UN, 2009)
Gender Gap Index: 29 of 134 countries (World Economic Forum, 2009)
Gross National Index per capita: N/A
Improving Economic Planning in Cuba
Local Organization: National Institute for Economic Planning and Research
Canadian Expert: Michel Filion
The Cuban economy faces many challenges: centralized control and
management has stifled growth; the decades-old US trade embargo keeps that huge potential market closed and impedes trade with some other countries, frequent hurricanes damage property and crops (losses in 2008 exceeded US$10 billion), and the global economic downturn has depressed the prices of key exports of nickel and tobacco. And the economy has still not fully readjusted from the devastating effects of the dismantling of the Soviet block and the end of Soviet subsidies.
To build the economy and to be in position for a potential post-embargo environment, Cuba’s Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) has adopted new policy approaches. They have decentralized decision-making authority to provincial and municipal administrations and identified measures to stimulate investment and growth. Within the MEP, the National Institute for Economic Planning and Research (INIE) is the key body providing evidence-based policy proposals and mid- to long-term economic planning. Working closely with INIE, a Canadian expert will provide technical assistance and training in economic analysis and policies, with a focus on introducing modern and innovative approaches to the Cuban economy.