Achieving the Required Surge in Investment and Growth?

  • Vegard ByeEmail author
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


This chapter examines the lack of productive investment in the Cuban economy, and the quest for new investments. The new regime for foreign direct investment (FDI) is discussed. Effects of this regime—and particularly the establishment of a Special Development Zone—are compared with the unofficial investments de facto taking place in the private sector, thanks to the increasing family remittances from abroad. The three main sources of foreign currency—export of professional services, family remittances and tourism—are compared to the rapidly dwindling incomes of goods exports. Given Cuba’s obsolete economic structures, is a process of creative destruction put in place? The chapter also offers a balance of the outcome of Raúl Castro’s reform era, concluding that the state of the economy left to the post-Castro generation is worse than it has been since the 1990s.


Foreign direct investment (FDI) Family remittances Special Development Zone Foreign currency Creative destruction Macroeconomic outcome 


  1. Bye, Vegard. 2016. The Great Paradox: How Obama’s Opening to Cuba May Imperil the Country’s Reform Process. Third World Quarterly 37 (9): 1698–1712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Feinberg, Richard A. 2012. The New Cuban Economy: What Role for Foreign Investment? Washington: Brookings Institution, Latin America Initiative (December).Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2013. Soft Landing in Cuba? Emerging Entrepreneurs and Middle Classes. Washington: Brookings Institution, Latin America Initiative (November).Google Scholar
  4. ———. 2017. What Will be Raúl Castro’s Legacy? Order from Chaos (Article Series). Washington: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  5. Henken, Ted A., and Gabriel Vignoli. 2015. Enterprising Cuba: Citizen Empowerment, State Abandonment, or U.S. Business Opportunity?. Published in AU-SSRC: Implications of Normalisation: Scholarly Perspectives on U.S.-Cuban Relations.
  6. Jimenez, Guillermo. 2008. Los proprietarios de Cuba 1958. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales.Google Scholar
  7. Mesa-Lago, Carmelo (ed). 2016. Voces de cambio en el sector no estatal cubano. Madrid. IberoamericanaGoogle Scholar
  8. Mesa-Lago, Carmelo. 2018. La economía cubana: Situación en 2017–2018 y perspectivas para 2019. Cuba Posible, 04.12.2018.Google Scholar
  9. Mesa-Lago, Carmelo, and Pavel Vidal Alejandro. 2019. El impact en la economía cubana de la crisis venezolana y de las políticas de Donald Trump. Real Instituto Elcano, Documento de trabajo 9/2019Google Scholar
  10. Morales, Emilio. 2017. Deshielo y reformas crean una clase media y un Nuevo balance de poder en la economía cubana sin precedentes en casi 60 anos. Paper presented to ASCE conference, July 2017.Google Scholar
  11. Pérez Villanueva, Omar Everleny. 2014. El relanzamiento de la Inversión Extranjera en Cuba: Una necesidad para el desarrollo económico. Paper presented at Seminario Científico por el 25 aniversario del CEEC, 25–27 June 2014Google Scholar
  12. Ritter, Archibald R.M., and Ted A. Henken. 2015. Entrepreneurial Cuba: The Changing Policy Landscape. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner PublishersGoogle Scholar
  13. Simoni, Valerio. 2017. Business, Hospitality, and Change in Cuba’s Private Tourism Sector: A View from Casas Particulares in Viñales. In Tourism Planning & Development, 1–20 (Published online: 14 Nov. 2017).Google Scholar
  14. Torres, Ricardo. 2016. Economic Transformations in Cuba: A Review. Third World Quarterly 37 (9): 1683–1697. Scholar
  15. Vidal, Pavel A., and Scott Brown. 2015. Cuba’s Economic Reintegration: Begin with the International Financial Institutions. The Right Step for Improving the Lives of Cuba’s Citizens. Washington: Atlantic Council. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scanteam a.s.OsloNorway

Personalised recommendations