Cuba Ending 2012 with a Favorable Trade Balance

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba is ending 2012 with a favorable trade balance and a steady growth in its high value-added export services, said deputy minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Oscar Perez Oliva, when speaking before the Cuban parliament.

Export income for the country amounted to 2.45 billion in convertible currency (about $2.5 billion USD), of which more than half was generated by health care services and tourism.

However, Perez Oliva told reporters that “despite these results, we have not yet achieved the diversification required for the economy,” pointing to the remaining high dependence on exports that have volatile prices on the international market, such as nickel.

According to the official, Cuban foreign trade is focused on nickel, sugar, rum, cigars, generic drugs and biotechnology, while the island’s principal trading partners are Venezuela, China, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Holland, Mexico, Italy, France and Russia.