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Parliament begins work on new foreign law

CUBA STANDARD — Two committees of the National Assembly have begun
preparatory work on a new foreign investment law that is expected to be
passed by an upcoming extraordinary session this month, while experts
throughout the island are providing input to the proposed law.

The judicial and economic committees have begun a “broad and detailed
process” to “figure out aspects [of the bill] that may have to be
amended,” José Luis Toledo Santander, chairman of the constitutional and
judicial committee, told official daily Granma.

According to Toledo, the new law will enhance guarantees for foreign
investors, emphasize the importance of foreign investment, and establish
a “folder” of investments sought by the government. The law will also
spell out tax rebates and exemptions for certain foreign investments,
and provide more flexibility with import duties.

The main concerns expressed by deputies — who received a copy of the
bill a few days ago — so far are labor rights of Cuban workers in
foreign investment projects, duration of investments, and “protection of
national heritage,” Toledo said.

Toledo said that deputies, lawyers, state company executives, and
municipal and provincial officials are “debating” the law in five
meetings throughout the island this week. In each of the meetings,
Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca explains the
proposed law that was put together by the Council of Ministers and then
goes over the bill , chapter by chapter, with attendees who can then
provide comments and suggestions. “If needed,” the bill will be modified
before it is submitted to the whole parliament. The government also
maintains an e-mail address for input outside of meetings.

“That way, we will get to the Assembly with the highest possible degree
of clarity and consensus,” Toledo said, without providing a date for the
start of the extraordinary session.

Source: Parliament begins work on new foreign investment law « Cuba
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