The Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX), Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, ends his official visit to the United States today. From February 15-18, he headed the delegation accompanied by Cuban officials including the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba, Orlando Hernandez and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Bank and Cuban businesses.
Mr Malmierca has been meeting and speaking with business people at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Meetings also took place with the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donahue, and Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, Myron Brilliant. Business sectors in the meetings included representatives of tourism, biotechnology, machinery, food/agriculture and other industry.
In speaking with business people at the Chamber of Commerce Malmierca said, “You are welcome to do business in Cuba.” He also emphasized that the blockade against Cuba by the US is a continuing obstacle and that removing it would benefit both nations.
Malmierca has also met with former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez who is now chair of the U.S. – Cuba Business Council (USCBC), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The USCBC was created by the Chamber of Commerce to promote US business in Cuba and remove the barriers to business with the Island.
The goals of the Malmierca delegation to the US Chamber of Commerce were to assess the current situation between the US and Cuba and identify the obstacles to doing business in Cuba.
The US Chamber of Commerce has played a vital role in the rapprochement process between Cuba and the US. This ongoing dialogue began in December of 2014.
In November of last year the USCBC and more than 50 major US businesses such as American Airlines, Boeing, Heinz Krfat, Home Depot, Sprint and Morgan Stanley visited Cuba. During this visit Malmierca met with Myron Brilliant to talk about the problems the embargo creates for bilateral trade as well as the business potential of opening up trade with Cuba.