Cuba flag Cuba: Compra i venda

La xarxa de distribució a Cuba

Evolution of the Sector
Up to the beginning of the 1990s, the state-owned companies of the Ministry of External Trade were responsible for all import goods.  In the 1990s, most of these companies gradually lost their advantage to the benefit of business and production companies which had enough income in cash to act as direct importers. There were approximately 500 Cuban and mixed companies which had the necessary permit to conduct business abroad until 2003.
From 2003, this trend was reversed again and the Ministry of External Trade reinforced its control over import and export activities.  Most of the import permits were cancelled and the procedure of importing goods was made more difficult and full of red tape: purchase committees were formed to unite all importers of the same sector who together decided on the desired import goods.

Cuba has been moving over the last year to liberalize regulations over private economic activity. Since then, tens of thousands of Cubans have taken out licenses “to work for themselves,” a euphemism used by the government to describe operating mom-and-pop businesses. Cuba plans to have 40% of the labor force working in the “non-state” sector by 2018, compared with 15% at the close of 2010.

Moving most retail services to the “non-state” sector is one of more than 300 reforms approved by the ruling Communist Party earlier this year to “update” the economy. The measures aim to introduce market forces in the agriculture and retail services sectors, cut subsidies and lift restrictions on individual activity that once prohibited the sale and purchase of homes and cars.
Market share
In Cuba, several distribution outlets co-exist: distribution chains meant for tourists, distribution chains meant for the population and for foreign residents and the intermediate ones.

1. Distribution chains meant for tourists sell souvenir items and food industry products on retail.
2. Distribution chains meant for the Cuban population sell everyday products (food industry products, household products, etc).
3. Foreign companies do not have access to the wholesale and retail Cuban market.  They can only sell to companies or Cuban entities if these latter have a corresponding export permit.  The procedures of sale are at times a bit complex: Cuban companies wishing to import merchandise have to first obtain the approval from the Ministry to which they are linked.

Retail Sector Organisations
Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Cuban Chamber of Commerce

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Actualitzacions: April 2022

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