The Cuban food industry has 21 development projects worth a total of 762 million U.S. dollars, some of which have seen interest from foreign investors, according to local news site Sierra Maestra on Monday.
According to deputy minister for the food industry, Betsy Diaz Velazquez, two of these projects -- beer and jam, could be concluded this year and be set up in Mariel, the special economic zone. The country hopes these projects will drive development over the coming years.
Velazquez highlighted that these negotiations are being carried out with the Cristal beer company and with Nestle, who may set up its third plant in Cuba to produce biscuits and coffee.
The minister insisted that these projects all aimed to boost national demand and allow Cuba to increase its exports.
Cuba spends around 2 billion U.S. dollars a year on food imports, which covers around 80 percent of domestic consumption.
According to estimates from local experts, the island needs to receive 2.5 billion U.S. dollars of foreign direct investment for its economic development.
The country's latest portfolio of foreign investment opportunities, released in November, includes 395 projects for a total value of over 9.5 billion U.S. dollars across sectors such as industry, agriculture, tourism, mining and energy.