Reposted from The Latin American Herald Tribune
Market in Havana, Cuba
By Anett Rios
HAVANA – Cuba enacted this Jan. 1 a new Tax Law to continue the government’s “modernization” of socialism with economic reforms that revamp the tax culture of a country where taxes have been virtually non-existent since the 1959 Cuban Revolution. More…
Reposted from The Financial Times
Cuba has approved business co-operatives as part of its continued economic reform effort
Communist-run Cuba legalised non-agricultural co-operatives on Tuesday as the state continued to pull back slowly from its centrally planned economy in favour of private initiative and market forces.
The move was just the latest reform under President Raúl Castro, who wants to transform the country’s Soviet-style command economy into one more in line with Asian Communism where political control remains absolute, while allowing more space for the private sector.
Mr Castro’s reform push began after he took over ruling the Caribbean island from his ailing brother, Fidel, in 2008.
“The initial stage calls for the establishment of more than 200 associations of this kind (co-operatives) across the country, in sectors such as transportation, food services, fishing, personal and domestic services, recycling and construction and production of construction materials,” said Granma, the Communist Party daily, on Tuesday.
Reposted from The New York Times
By BILL RICHARDSON and MICKEY BERGMAN
Myanmar headed in a positive direction
THE lobby of the Traders Hotel in Yangon is buzzing in the early evening hours. The number of Chinese, Japanese, Europeans and Americans roaming the lobby is surprising. It’s as if they are all here just waiting for the economic boom to happen. More…
Reposted from Myanmar Business Network
Introducing international bank cards will improve the tourist sector and promote foreign investment
Myanmar has allowed introducing services for four international bank cards — Visa, Master, CUP ( China Union Payment) and JCB (Japan Credit Bureau) for the first time to facilitate foreign travelers in domestic payment as a follow-up program of MPU (Myanmar Payment Union) card for local citizens in September, official media reported Friday. More…
Reposted from Reuters
By Martin Petty
Demand is soaring with phone shops in Yangon
YANGON (Reuters) – Blackberrys and iPhones aren’t much use in Myanmar, where its only network is frequently jammed, data services are scarce, prices extortionate, lines crackly and most phones don’t roam. For decades, its telecoms industry has been a shambles. More…
Reposted from Newser
Written by Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press
The scene at Havana’s Victor Hugo Park is unfortunately typical, with a handful of boys kicking a soccer ball through trees while dozens of gray-haired seniors bend and stretch to the urgings of a government-employed trainer. So few children, so many elderly. It’s a central dilemma for a nation whose population is the oldest in Latin America, and getting older. More…
Cuban President Raul Castro
Reposted from Yahoo News
Written by Marc Frank, Reuters
Cuba adopted a new tax code this week and said it would loosen regulations on some state companies while turning others into cooperatives, as one of the world’s last Soviet-style economies moves in a more market-friendly direction. More…
Reposted from The New York Times
Construction crew in Yangon, Myanmar
By Thomas Fuller
YANGON, Myanmar — One year into wide-ranging political reforms, this long-neglected city has some of the trappings of a boomtown.
Foreign businessmen in well-tailored suits are driven down potholed streets and past crumbling colonial buildings to meet potential partners, replacing adventure travelers in cargo pants and safari vests drawn by the city’s backwardness. More…
Reposted from The Economist
Raul and Fidel Castro
By Michael Rein
Under Raúl Castro, Cuba has begun the journey towards capitalism. But it will take a decade and a big political battle to complete, writes Michael Reid
WHEN ON JULY 31st 2006 Cuban state television broadcast a terse statement from Fidel Castro to say that he had to undergo emergency surgery and was temporarily handing over to his brother, Raúl (pictured with Fidel, left), it felt like the end of an era. The man who had dominated every aspect of life on the island for almost half a century seemed to be on his way out. In the event Fidel survived, and nothing appeared to change. More…
Reposted from CNBC
The Cuban flag flying in Park Central in Havana.
By Justin Solomon
In Corpus Christi, Texas, beans are being bagged by the thousands and shipped off to a country that for decades was considered forbidden. That country is, of course, Cuba and the beans being sent there are grown in North Dakota, according to WestStar Food President Pat Wallesen.
“When I tell people, they’ll ask, ‘What do you do?’ And we tell them we export some beans to Cuba and they’re like, ‘Well you can’t do that, can ya?’” he said. More…