Cuba expects its economy to grow 3.1 percent in 2011, up from 2.1 percent this year, as it slowly emerges from an extended slump, Cuban officials said on Saturday in a meeting of the National Assembly.
Osvaldo Martinez, the assembly's president of economic affairs, said the economy is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.1 percent through 2015, but will continue to be weighed down next year by "instability in the world economy and the elevated dependence of our economy on the external sector."
The economy's 2.1 percent growth for 2010 follows a 1.4 percent expansion in 2009 as the communist-led island was affected by the global recession, powerful hurricanes and internal inefficiencies.
Cuban President Raul Castro has introduced a number of reforms this year to expand the private sector and reduce the role of the state, all with an eye toward strengthening Cuba's fragile economy while maintaining its socialist system.
Among his plans are slashing 500,000 jobs from government payrolls by March and allowing more people to work for themselves in Cuba's biggest shift toward the private sector since 1968.
The first congress of the ruling Communist Party since 1997 is scheduled for April to formally approve the changes.