• The Potential Of Doing Business In Cuba

    05-05-2013by Admin

    Despite its reputation, Cuba offers many opportunities for people, foreigners and nationals, who want to do business in the country.

  • Reasons to Do Business in Cuba

    05-05-2013by Admin

    Cuba is making things easier for investors by enacting the Cuban Foreign Investment Law that allows 100% foreign ownership of enterprises that are started or conducted in Cuba. This makes the country a prime option for foreign investors from different business sectors.

    Tourism is also booming in Cuba, and although US tourists may be required to jump through a few more hoops compared to other tourists of different nationalities, the industry is more than just holding its own, especially with visitors from Canada and Europe.

    Cuba’s labor force is also growing strong. Cuba prides itself with a highly skilled IT, medical and biotech labor force with skills that rival those of their international competitors. This makes Cuba an attractive destination for companies looking to establish international offices abroad.

    The Cuba Chamber of Commerce

    Another reason to do business is Cuba is the presence of the Cuba Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce is not affiliated with the Cuban government but is there to help promote and protect local and international business.

    The Chamber of Commerce can assist individuals and corporations that want to invest in post embargo Cuba by providing consulting services, Cuban Market Research, and assistance in getting the proper licenses required to set up a business in the country. It accepts both local and international entrepreneurs, sole proprietors, corporations, NGOs, domain investors, and business consultants.

    Members receive the benefits of being included in a private network of business entities operating in Cuba and the ability to have their names listed in the Havana Journal.

    Business Opportunities in Cuba

    Top business opportunities to consider include tourism-related enterprises, real estate, the food industry, and with the state’s new reforms to boost food production, agriculture. The Cuban government has also started encouraging small, local enterprises by arming citizens with self-employment licenses. These are made available to those who want to open up their small, independent shops such as cafes, bakeries, stores, and the like.

    This reform is actually bearing fruit, as seen in the changing faces of most Cuban cities and towns, which are now enjoying small but noticeable booms in the number of snack bars and restaurants that are popping up all over the country.

    How to Do Business in Cuba

    For foreigners, they must get permission from their governments before they can do business in Cuba. The Cuban government allows local companies to collaborate with foreign investors through joint ventures, which is a way for the Cuban government to get a hefty share of the venture after a few years.

    All business, whether foreign or local owned, are dominated by the Cuban government. Therefore, anyone looking to do business in the country must accept that any business dealing in the country will be in the form of a joint venture and that the Cuban government is entitled to a 51% share. This also means that all labor forces will be provided by a government labor agency, which imposes state regulated salaries.

    Foreign workers will also be required to procure Cuban work permits.

    The State of Enterprise in Cuba

    Cuba welcomes large and multinational business enterprises interested in doing business in the country. Cuban laws offer guarantees to investors such as full protection, security, protection against expropriation of assets except in cases of extreme social interest, tax-free transfer of dividends, and the right to directly import and export whatever is necessary for the purpose of the business.

    Cuba has designated free zones and industrial parks where companies are free to engage in the free import of goods. Trade and industry inside these areas will also be conducted under a special business regime.

    Challenges to Business and Enterprise in Cuba

    Investors planning to do business in Cuba are always advised to look at the opportunity with level heads. Being a communist country, there are double the challenges in doing business in Cuba compared to doing business somewhere else.

    Corruption is rampant and the practice of routing workers’ salaries through government sets a fertile ground for corruption. Businesses are increasingly being required to import through state agencies, and Cuba imposes high rates on utility and transport costs.

    Other major concerns include the need to repeatedly renew visas and works permits, as well as judicial issues. Businesses are not assured fairness and impartiality when they become parties to a suit, since the government is both business partner and judge.

    Although trade and industry remains to be under the full control of the Cuban government, recent changes and improvements have loosened that grip somewhat and allows for more foreign corporations to consider putting overseas offices in the country.

    New laws that encourage foreign investment as well as a more stable foreign policy are making Cuba an attractive option for most business owners from Canada, South America, and Europe.

  • Cuba Major Imports and Exports?

    05-05-2013by Admin

    The value of imported goods in Cuba is $13.68 billion (2012 est), and the value of exported goods is $5.6 billion (2012 est)
    Imported Goods: petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
    Exported Goods: sugar, nickel, tobacco, fish, medical products, citrus, coffee