Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Another Voice: Cuba is opening, but not yet open, for business
on February 11, 2016 – 12:01 AM
By Damon Piatek

The U.S.-Cuba trade relationship is beginning to become more clear, but
without question since President Obama’s announcement in December 2014
that the United States would be strengthening that relationship, the
hype has far superseded actual progress. While some barriers to trade
have been eased in recent months, there remain many challenges to
overcome before the opportunity will become fruitful for U.S. exporters.

Since the Obama administration’s announcement, many steps have been
taken toward opening and strengthening the trade relationship, including
just at the end of January when the federal government announced
critical changes to financing and travel restrictions that were
significant roadblocks. Nevertheless, an embargo is still in place on
most exports from the United States to Cuba (with some exceptions). Any
interest in entering the Cuban market should not be taken lightly, and
should be done with professional guidance. The bottom line is that trade
with Cuba is opening, but not open.

It is important to remember that Cuba is still a Communist country, so
any business dealing with Cuba is dealing with the Cuban government.
Despite some of the rhetoric that is in the public dialogue about how
trade with the United States will help Cuba, the Cuban government is not
necessarily seeking U.S. help in opening its doors to commerce. Business
and business opportunity are still highly regulated in Cuba, and any
company negotiating with Cuba to export must understand that there are
governmental and political factors involved that you won’t encounter
domestically and in most other countries. Cuba also maintains trade
relationships with many other nations, so while there are American-made
products that would be attractive to the Cuban market, the country is
not isolated and has existing commerce.

Cuba’s culture, itself, is a huge factor in the potential success of
Cuba-U.S. trade. Cuba is not a wealthy country – Cuban workers make an
average of $20 a month – and people’s lives are not only taken care of,
but monitored, by the government. Companies looking to export to Cuba
must understand the realities of the market they want to approach,
because it is a market that is largely not yearning for the American way
of life.

Despite the many challenges and the time it will actually take to
overcome even just the political and regulatory pieces of the puzzle,
companies should remain positive about future opportunity for U.S. trade
with Cuba.

Certainly Western New York companies with interest in Cuba should be
doing their homework now for when the opportunities begin to manifest
themselves, and putting themselves in the best position to take advantage.

Damon Piatek is president of Welke Customs Brokers USA in the City of
Tonawanda.

Source: Another Voice: Cuba is opening, but not yet open, for business –
Opinion – The Buffalo News –
www.buffalonews.com/opinion/another-voice/another-voice-cuba-is-opening-but-not-yet-open-for-business-20160211


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