Cuba gives state-run companies more autonomy, ability to branch out into side businesses

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HAVANA – Cuba has approved several measures giving state-run businesses more autonomy.

The changes include giving government-run enterprises more leeway to conduct secondary commercial operations.

For example, a factory that specializes in canned vegetables could get into a side business such as candy-making or recycling.

Previously, such entities were mostly barred from doing anything outside of their primary activity.

They will also be allowed to sell any excess goods at market prices.

The measures published Monday in the government’s Official Gazette say state companies can keep up to 50 per cent of their profits, 20 per cent more than before.

The changes are the latest in a package of reforms that seek to revive Cuba’s weak economy.

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