Sunday, February 11, 2007

Business news

You know how the Castro regime claims that the Cuban economy grew by a staggering 12.5 per cent last year? With even more spectacular growth ahead?

Well, here is another take.

The highly-respected Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has just ranked Cuba among the world's worst business environments, as you can read here.

As part of its annual international wrap, the London-based EIU surveyed 82 nations - and Cuba came in at number 80, just ahead of Angola and Iran.

The problem? Tight government regulations. Supply shortages. Sky-high utility bills. Unmotivated workers. Dismal customer service.

Even Chinese executives in Havana, who are currently favoured by the regime, find huge obstacles doing business with their Communist brothers.

One Chinese executive, who "declined to be named for fear of Cuban reprisals", was quoted as saying: "Our company does business with 46 countries, and Cuba is the only one where we cannot have a commercial representative to find clients and service them."

What's more, Cuba is reportedly the only country where foreign business are forbidden from hiring local employees directly. Instead, businesses must hire them through government agencies - and they must pay the employees in hard currency through those very same agencies.

But as the EIU found, Cuban employees receive only a small proportion of the pay.

Guess who keeps the rest?


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