Cuba eyes automation to tackle fast population aging

Xinhua News Agency | Aug 16, 2019 at 4:41 AM

HAVANA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Cuba currently needs to develop the industry 4.0 based on the automation of manufacturing technologies, to deal with the fast aging of its population, a government official said on Thursday.

"In the near future the working force will be affected by the demographic changes ongoing in the country," warned Jesus Otamendiz, employment director of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Otamendiz stressed that the government's policy is to prioritize the skilled young workers for the emerging jobs, but more people are expected to leave the work force, due to aging.

Cuba has similar birth rates as developed countries in the world.

"The impact of the population aging on the issue of employment will be decisive in the next decade," said Otamendiz.

Given this situation, the Cuban authorities are promoting the investments to introduce upgraded technology and production automation, said the official.

The fast population aging has become a very serious concern of the Cuban government. It has become a serious challenge for the Cuban economy and the local health system.

Now more than 20 percent of the island's inhabitants are people aged 60 or over, and the figure is forecast to be more than 25 percent by 2025. That will turn the country into one of the oldest nations in Latin America.