The country, with an economy based on tourism and the nickel sector, imports most of its food products, which the government distributes through rationing policies. Cuba is investing in human development capacities and the health sector. Its population benefit from low housing and transportation costs, free education, universal health care, and food. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are emerging as prominent sectors.
ITC is foreseeing some cooperation with Cuba within the framework of UNDAF to support productive sectors for export. In 2014 it developed its “2014-2018 Strategic Approach to the Caribbean Region” which focuses on implementing the recommendations of strategies recently developed by CARICOM for the cultural industries and professional services sectors. Therefore, ITC will work in the Caribbean mainly at regional level focusing on the two above-mentioned sectors. However, Cuba, together with Haiti and Dominican Republic may still require a differentiated approach given their particular situation within the Caribbean region.