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Cuba's tourist arrivals up 7 pct in first 2 months of 2014

Havana, Apr 4 (EFE).- International tourist arrivals to Cuba rose 7 percent annually in January and February to 636,146 travelers, accounting for 21 percent of the 3 million visitors the government expects to receive this year. The number of foreign visitors in the year's first two months was up from the 593,344 tourists received in January and February 2013, National Statistics and Information Office, or ONEI, figures show.

Cuba: obstacle course for foreign investors

Foreign investors still face an obstacle course in Cuba despite the passage of a new, more liberal law aimed at attracting capital from outside the communist-ruled island. Cuba's National Assembly unanimously approved the law on Saturday, offering tax and other incentives to foreign investors, who are seen as crucial to reviving the country's stagnant economy. But even as he pitched the new law, Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca acknowledged to lawmakers many impediments to foreign investment remain.

Cuba seeks foreign investment in key sectors

Havana, Apr 1 (EFE).- Cuba's new law regulating foreign investment will give priority to 11 economic sectors, Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday. The list includes the areas of agriculture and forestry, the food industry, energy and mines, the sugar industry, iron and steel, chemicals and electronics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, wholesale trade, health, construction, tourism and transport, officials told the newspaper.

Cuba's athletes get pay raises

Havana, Mar 31 (EFE).- Cuba reported on Monday the entry into force of the announced salary hikes for athletes, coaches and specialists in the sector, whose incomes will depend on the results and awards they obtain. Athletes' income has been structured into six categories, with base pay that varies from around $18 a month for second-string baseball players to roughly $60 a month for Olympic medalists. In addition to those base salaries, athletes are also eligible to receive bonuses for outstanding results in competitions.

Cuba's athletes get pay raises

Havana, Mar 31 (EFE).- Cuba reported on Monday the entry into force of the announced salary hikes for athletes, coaches and specialists in the sector, whose incomes will depend on the results and awards they obtain. Athletes' income has been structured into six categories, with base pay that varies from around $18 a month for second-string baseball players to roughly $60 a month for Olympic medalists. In addition to those base salaries, athletes are also eligible to receive bonuses for outstanding results in competitions.

Cuba to allow foreign investment in all sectors but health, education

Havana, Mar 26 (EFE).- Communist Cuba will allow foreign investment in all sectors except education, health and "armed institutions" and offer tax exemptions to overseas companies, the official daily Juventud Rebelde reported Wednesday, disclosing details of a bill proposed by Raul Castro's government. The new legislation "aims to provide foreign investors with full protection and legal certainty," guaranteeing that their investments "will not be expropriated except for reasons of public or social interest previously declared by the Council of Ministers," the newspaper said.

Cuba to allow foreign investment in all sectors but health, education

Havana, Mar 26 (EFE).- Communist Cuba will allow foreign investment in all sectors except education, health and "armed institutions" and offer tax exemptions to overseas companies, the official daily Juventud Rebelde reported Wednesday, disclosing details of a bill proposed by Raul Castro's government. The new legislation "aims to provide foreign investors with full protection and legal certainty," guaranteeing that their investments "will not be expropriated except for reasons of public or social interest previously declared by the Council of Ministers," the newspaper said.

Cuba more than doubles doctors' pay

Havana, Mar 21 (EFE).- President Raul Castro and his Cabinet approved a plan to more than double the pay of Cuba's medical professionals starting in June, official media said Friday. Raises for the more than 440,000 doctors, stomatologists and nurses will vary between 60 and 178 percent. Even so, their salaries will continue to lag far behind what doctors are paid in other countries.

New law to create investment-friendly Cuba

Foreign investors will be able to do business in communist Cuba without fear of government interference once a new law is approved later this month, a top lawmaker told state media on Monday. The lawmaker tasked with overseeing the drafting of the new investment law said in the official Granma newspaper that the new legislation would usher in a business-friendly climate in this bastion of communism. The law will "work to strengthen guarantees to investors," said Jose Luis Toledo, head of the legal affairs committee in Cuba's National Assembly.

Cuba agrees to open talks with EU on new political accord

By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba accepted a proposal by the European Union to open negotiations on a new political accord, saying on Thursday it was willing to discuss human rights as part of discussions that would end what it considers a one-sided relationship with Europe. On February 10, the EU agreed to begin negotiations with Cuba to increase trade, investment and dialogue on human rights in its most significant diplomatic shift since Brussels lifted sanctions on the communist-ruled country in 2008.
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