Cuban biotechnology products are exported to more than 50 countries around the globe, according to an expert interviewed Tuesday during the Second International Congress about Economic Management and Development that took place in Havana.
A genuine collaboration between state institutions and the technology sector has allowed the development of the industry to gain international notoriety, said the director of Cuba's Center of Molecular Immunology Agustin Lage during his presentation.
Science and the economy are both connected, with new companies emerging from public-funded scientific units. In Lage's opinion, this economic model should be extended to other economic sectors in Cuba.
“The more our economy will develop technology, the more it will be socialist,” added Lage, also representative in Cuba's National Assembly.
The sector accounts so far with 32 companies, with 78 production units that employ about 21,700 workers, according to Lage.
“For a small country like Cuba, the real market lies in exports, not in domestic demand, at least in our case,” he added.
Cuba has been attracting foreign attention in recent years in innovative sectors like health and agriculture, especially after the normalization of relations with the United States.
“The more our economy will develop technology, the more it will be socialist.”
For instance, Cuba became a world leader in the search of new cancer drugs, like lung and prostate cancers. No less than 28 biopharmaceuticals, mostly therapeutic vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, are already registered or in various stages of testing.
As for agriculture, as it has been able to develop cheap and eco-friendly technologies that have helped the country to reach a certain level of food security without damaging the environment.
With the environmental and financial challenges the world is now facing, the Cuban model – built in a time of crisis after the USSR collapsed – is seen as offering potential solutions to many countries in the world.