Cuba has announced plans to permit limited foreign investment in its domestic market.

Foreign investors will be able to fully own local wholesalers for the first time since the Cuban revolution or enter the market through joint ventures, according to an official.

CARACAS — The government said late on Monday that Cuba intends to permit limited foreign investment in local wholesale and retail trade for the first time since Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution to escape the island nation's worst economic crisis in decades.

On a late-night TV chat show, Ana Teresita Gonzalez, the deputy minister of trade, announced that foreign investors will soon be able to wholly acquire local wholesalers or enter the market through joint ventures. Although she opened the door to some public/private initiatives in the retail sector, it would be more regulated.

As an example, the reforms would boost the nation's efforts to increase efficiency in its infamously inefficient retail sector by allowing foreign-owned enterprises to operate in warehouse and back-end logistics operations servicing state-run and private businesses.

Gonzalez added that Cuba would "selectively" permit some foreign investors into the retail market as long as their contributions helped the nation achieve its socialist objectives and reduced costs.

On the same talk program, Domestic Trade Minister Betsy Diaz Velazquez stated that although the government will continue to dominate the retail industry, some public-private joint ventures would be permitted.

With existing foreign investors in Cuba and partner nations, "we will emphasize these types of activities," she said.

After two years of epidemic difficulties and widespread U.S. sanctions that have impeded recovery, Cuba is currently working to reinvent its highly closed, state-run economy.

Communist party officials have accelerated long-delayed plans to reorganize the state-run economy in the Soviet model in response to growing unhappiness about lengthy queues for necessities, fuel shortages, and rolling blackouts.

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