ABSTRACT. Since the inception of the special period and the loss of its traditional export markets for sugar and other goods, Cuba has turned towards services as new sources of foreign exchange. Tourism has been reactivated and its performance has been broadly satisfactory, yet its long term growth potential should not be overstated. Since the mid-2000s, a new sector – professional services – has become the island’s largest foreign exchange earner. Cuba’s comparative advantage in this sector is the product of decades of human capital investment in social services. Yet, the sustainability of Cuba’s present trade structure cannot be taken for granted. In the future, export-oriented professional services, and the health cluster in particular, might not only contribute to release the balance of payments constrain, but also play a pivotal role in steering the evolution of Cuba’s economy towards a knowledge-based development path. To this purpose, however, major changes in the area of industrial and macroeconomic policies are required. pp. 151–175
JEL: P23, P42, R23, F41

Keywords: Cuba, export-oriented service, health cluster, economy

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