Brazil Offers to Help Cuba Develop Small Businesses

Oct 7, 2010 - LegalZoom News Sources
Brazil Offers to Help Cuba Develop Small Businesses

Speaking to reporters ahead of 65th UN General Assembly in New York, Brazil's foreign minister Celso Amorim said his country has offered to help Cuba develop small and medium-sized businesses in an effort to spur economic growth, BBC News reports.

Amorim explained that Cuba could learn from Brazil's successful experience in developing entrepreneurship including small and medium-sized businesses as well as reducing the informal economy, the news provider said.

Amorim's comments come after Cuba last week announced plans to lay off a million public-sector workers, half of which will be removed from the payroll in the next six months. Most of Cuba's economy is currently controlled by the government, which employs an estimated 5.1 million people, or approximately 85 percent of the official workforce, the news source said.

The proposed layoffs are viewed as the island's latest attempt to revive its struggling economy. The BBC said that Cuba has also struggled with an emerging black economy.

Amorim called Cuba's layoff plans "very courageous," adding, "I believe Cuba's evolution - and I use that word deliberately - is a process that will increase opportunities."

According to analysts, Cuba's proposed layoff plan comes after consulting trade unions, and that many of the workers being laid off will become self-employed or will be offered alternative employment in workers' co-operatives.