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Natural resource and service-based export performance: Cuba after 1989


  • Andres Cardenas O'Farrill


This article sets out to examine the growth strategy promoted by the Cuban government in the aftermath of the economic crisis of the 90s. This crisis, catalyzed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern European communism, imposed on Cuba the need for both new interna-tional insertion patterns and therefore a redesign of its development strat-egy. Without reaching the pre-crisis levels, this strategy led, however, to a significant recovery of GDP during the period 1994-2008. Nevertheless, the stagnation of the tourism industry and the fluctuation of international nickel prices have made it necessary to rethink the current development strategy. Here it is argued that the strategy of mostly relying on low-tech-, natural-resource- or service-based activities will not raise the life standards of the Cuban population. A sustainable development strategy in the long term means to upgrade and introduce industries, such as bio-technology, which contain manufacturing capabilities that can prove competitive on the international level. This is consistent with the histori-cal evidence on economic development and innovation; but also with the performance shown by the Cuban economy during the last 20 years.

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  • Andres Cardenas O'Farrill, 2012. "Natural resource and service-based export performance: Cuba after 1989," The Other Canon Foundation and Tallinn University of Technology Working Papers in Technology Governance and Economic Dynamics 45, TUT Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance.
  • Handle: RePEc:tth:wpaper:45

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