An updated investment law, which is pending approval by lawmakers on Saturday, would allow overseas Cubans to invest in their home country, an official said Friday.
Under the new legislation, any natural or legal person with homes and capital abroad would be regarded as foreign investors, including Cuban citizens living abroad, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca told a parliamentary session.
Malmierca added, however, that Cuba does not look for foreign investment from the U.S. city of Miami, where most of overseas Cubans live, although the new law wouldn't prohibit such investment.
The official said the effort to attract foreign capital aims to diversify export markets, gain access to advanced technologies, and replace imports with a priority to reduce food imports which cost the island 2 billion U.S. dollars a year.
The move would also help the island to achieve energy independence as foreign firms are encouraged to conduct oil exploration off Cuban coasts.
He also said some sectors such as communications and news media would remain off-limits to foreign investors and private businesses.
The draft law updates the current one enacted in November 1995, when the island first opened to foreign capital in post-revolution era.