Cuba's new Foreign Investment Law, in the final approval process, is in keeping with reforms aimed at modernizing the island's economic model, parliament member Jose Luis Toledo Santander said.
Toledo was quoted by the state daily Granma Wednesday as saying that the bill, set to be debated by legislators Saturday following five regional meetings with deputies, is "in line with the changes being undertaken to modernize the Cuban economic model."
Toledo, chairman of the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, said the bill is aimed at "complementing the development of the national economy with foreign capital."
Under the new law, all economic sectors will be open to foreign investment, except public healthcare, education and security, excluding the business side of the armed forces, said Toledo.
The bill proposes investment be made mainly through joint ventures and "international economic partnership" contracts, though it also allows for enterprises integrated entirely by foreign capital.
The international economic partnerships will be implemented in the exploration of non-renewable natural resources, construction, farming, hotel management, production or services, and contracts for professional services.
Foreign investors will benefit from a special tax regime that includes tax exemptions on personal income in the case of joint ventures and international partnerships.
If approved, the new law could pave the way for more foreign investment to finance new technologies and new markets, contributing to the growth of the national economy.
A week ago, Rodrigo Malmierca, Foreign Trade and Investment Minister, said the goal is to spur economic development "without abandoning our socialist project," by offering "guarantees, incentives and better means to attract investment."
Cuban leader Raul Castro said in February that Cuba has "a compelling need" to attract foreign investment to boost the country's economic and social development.