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Business in Cuba

Trade Buzz and Big Business in Cuba


December of 2014 went down as a great moment in history for two former Cold War foes, closing the door on decades of hostility between Cuba and the United States. During this time, the US has reestablished a once lost diplomatic relationship with the Cuban government by reopening trade deals with Cuba in historical proportions. This new movement allows easier purchase of US items or services for Cuban citizens. US banks will also provide direct financing for these citizens and allow the freedom for US goods to be sold directly to the Cuban government. In addition, Americans will be able to expand travel for business ventures, sports events and research with the help of a relaxation of restrictions and an increase in commercial flights to Cuban soil.

With trade deals in Cuba reopening, some of the largest corporations in the US are eager to create revenue in Cuba at the same as President Obama prepares for a long overdue trip to Havana.   Corporations such as Caterpillar, Air B&B, Netflix, IDT Corporation and Verizon have already moved forward with business deals in Cuba.  A host of U.S. based airlines are currently bidding for flight routes.  AT&T is currently in negotiations for a communications agreement with Cuba.  AT&T has not commented further but a source reveals there has been no final agreement as of yet.

Hotel giant and customer favorite, Marriott Hotels has joined the list of businesses wishing to expand in Cuba. Arne Sorenson, the CEO of Marriott will be accompanying Obama on his Havana visit.  Thomas Marder, company spokesman, notes that while a deal is not underway, Marriott is optimistic that a “green light” from Washington to build their hotels on Cuban soil is inevitable.

Likewise, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., another big hotel chain has applied for the permission to conduct business in Cuba. They are currently awaiting the go-ahead from the US Treasury Department and hope to begin construction on new hotels in the future.

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New opportunities for American business and the reopening of trade is also highly beneficial for Cuba’s economic growth. Cuba is looking for investors in a wide range of industry sectors.  For the US, the big problem for business in Cuba is the remaining economic embargo against the Island.

Though we will not likely see everything change overnight, things are changing indeed… impacting government, business and individuals for a better, brighter future.

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