HAVANA TIMES — After having reserved it to the national public sector since 1959, the Cuban government is opening its struggling sugar industry to foreign investment, reported Reuters. Today a contract will be signed with the Brazilian giant Odebrecht to manage a sugar mill on the island.
An Odebrecht subsidiary “Compañía de Obras en Infraestructura” (COI) will sign a management contract with the Cuban government monopoly AZCUBA, said company sources and Brazilian diplomats on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
COI, which has worked in Cuba in recent years in the construction of new facilities at the port of Mariel, will undertake this effort, which was publically disclosed by the company earlier this year.
Hipolito Rocha, the CEO of Apex-Brasil, recently told Reuters that his country is planning an initial investment of about $60 million as part of the management contract of the “September 5” Sugar Refinery in the south-central Cuban city of Cienfuegos.
The government’s sugar industry has been theoretically open to foreign investment since 1995, though in practice there have only been a few joint-ventures involving sugar derivatives such as alcohol.