Havana, Cuba.- The increase and diversification of exports has become the first priority of the Cuban economy, according to legislative debates that took place in the past few days.

Recognizing that acquiring foreign capital is indispensable for developing the country, the president of the nation Miguel Diaz-Canel has also insisted on the importance of expanding the sale of national products in the external market.

During his most recent appearance before the National Assembly of People’s Power, Economy Minister Alejandro Gil said that exports are expected to grow by 3.7 percent in the coming year.

Within this expansion, a significant contribution is expected from items such as tourism, telecommunications, mining, bio-pharmaceutical and seafood products, tobacco, sugar, rum, charcoal and honey.

Thus, the export plans during the coming year include 860,000 tons of sugar, 53,000 tons of nickel and an increase in tobacco sales capable of reporting nearly 300 million dollars.

Gil also said that the Special Development Zone of Mariel has already approved 50 business projects, with a committed investment that exceeds 2,600 million dollars and generates more than 7,400 jobs in productive activities of vital importance to the economy.