Foreign Investment

Cuba

The Cuban government is reviewing applications for two foreign investment projects from the United States, according to Reuters. So far, 11 proposals have been approved for the Mariel special economic zone. This report comes on the heels of an announcement by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, that the government is “giving higher priority to foreign investment.” The government has only approved US$1.3 billion in projects over the last two years; well short of its goal of US$2 billion annually.

Monetary Policy

Peru

Last week the Peruvian Congress (controlled by Keiko Fujimori’s Frente Popular party) approved the three persons chosen by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (leader of the Peruanos Por el Kambio party) to be the newest directors of the Central Bank of Peru.

In this case, the divided government has made no one happy, and the President and members of Congress have weighed in on this issue. On Wednesday the President of the Central Bank, Julio Velarde Flores, dispelled concerns that the addition of three new members to the seven-member Board of Directors could mean a change in monetary policy. “If there is any question [that the appointment of the three new directors] could change the orientation of monetary policy, I believe that this concern is unfounded.”

In October the Central Bank chose to maintain a benchmark interest rate of 4.25 percent.

Honduras

On Tuesday the Central Bank of Honduras announced  its decision to maintain the benchmark interest rate at 5.5 percent. While interannual inflation in September was well below the 4.5 percent target, uncertainty regarding the United States Federal Reserve’s future policy decisions weigh on policy makers at the Central Bank of Honduras.