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Manufacturing's share of Cuban GDP takes a steep tumble.

Cuba's manufacturing sector has performed poorly over the past decade (2003-11) when compared to what the nation achieved two decades earlier (1983-91).

Manufacturing's share of Cuba's GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine.  is now 13.1%--down from 36.1% in the period right before the collapse of the Soviet bloc, when the island suddenly lost its economic umbrella, including markets, suppliers, financial guaranty As a verb, to agree to be responsible for the payment of another's debt or the performance of another's duty, liability, or obligation if that person does not perform as he or she is legally obligated to do; to assume the responsibility of a guarantor; to warrant.  and political patrons.

For instance, fertilizer fertilizer, organic or inorganic material containing one or more of the nutrients—mainly nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and other essential elements required for plant growth.  production--a key indicator in a country that was largely dependent on sugar exports for most of its history--is currently just over one-fifth what it was in the 1980s. This isn't the only cause of problems in the agriculture sector, but certainly accounts for part of its downfall.

It's the same story with other industries, some of them essential to Cuba's economy. Others aren't so fundamental, but their failure forces Cuba to divert some of its surplus cash to imports, such as tires and batteries.

It's impossible to depict the collapse of Cuba's manufacturing sector in a few graphics on one page, but the pattern is the same for many key products including cement (see CubaNews, March 2012, page 8), concrete prefabs, textiles, milled rice, petroleum products, chemicals, food preserves, home appliance, vehicle assembly and soap, to name a few.

Exceptions do exist, such as electric power generation, which is 26% higher today than two decades ago. That's thanks in part to natural gas usage by Energas, a Cuban-Canadian venture that currently generates 11.6% of the electricity produced in Cuba.

Under current circumstances, it's nearly unthinkable to return to previous output levels. It is not just a matter of investments, energy or the availability of raw materials.

It also has to do with quality and competitiveness--factors generally disregarded by Cuba's state-run manufacturing entities.

Other factors holding Cuba down include the island's enormous industrial investments of the 1970s and '80s which today cannot be saved, and an immense bureaucratic bu·reau·crat  
n.
1. An official of a bureaucracy.

2. An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure.



bu
 apparatus that prevents individual entities from making timely decisions about technology, freely using their income, receiving or disclosing information, or lobbying for their needs.

Nevertheless, Cuba's domestic market--strongly dependent on imports in a cashstarved environment--offers strong potential for manufacturing growth. And a globalized market would give Cuba's manufacturing sector a chance to play a prominent role as a provider of goods and services In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility (unless the "good" is a "bad"). It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax. .

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Author:Portela, Armando H.
Publication:CubaNews
Geographic Code:5CUBA
Date:Apr 1, 2012
Words:378
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