In Cuba, the National Assembly is set to approve a new foreign investment law the first in nearly 20 years. The law is the latest in a series of reforms.The communist-run country hopes to attract much needed capital, and improve Cuba’s economy. Cuba’s attitude towards foreign direct investment has undergone dramatic changes since the revolution in the 1960’s.Back then, the regime nationalized properties and businesses.The island-nation enjoyed subsidies from what was then the Soviet Union. With the sudden withdrawal of Soviet money in the 1990’s, Fidel Castro tried a more liberalized approach, and welcomed investment from Europe, Canada and Latin America.As the economy improved, Castro re-evaluated the role of foreign investment. He limited and cancelled foreign ventures.
Starting in the mid 2000s, state-owned enterprises partnered with companies in Venezuela , China and Brazil. Since then, economic reforms and a push to reduce corruption have helped ease some concerns from foreign investors. But challenges remain. Critics of Raul Castro’s Government say inconsistencies in foreign investment laws and bureaucracy keeps investors away. Cuba has seen foreign investment tick up in the last few years as tourism and mining sectors opened up to foreign partnerships. That’s a trend the World Bank predicts will continue this year. The new law which will go to vote on Saturday is seen as the country’s effort to attract investments and improve its economy. CCTV’s Michael Voss reports from Havana with details.