SALT LAKE CITY, UT, USA - On July 14, 2016 the World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, hosted a seminar featuring business opportunities for doing business in Cuba. This event sparked immense interest from the Utah business community as the past year and a half is the first period in over fifty years that the U.S. has taken action towards thawing Cold War relations with Cuba. While the economic embargo against Cuba is still in place, slowly and surly doors are being opened into the formerly forbidden Caribbean island.
"After a half century of isolationist policy, foreign relations with Cuba are finally opening up. Though regulations are still in place that prevent Utah companies from doing business in Cuba, it is only a matter of time before one of the last protected markets is open for business," said Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah. "We want to help companies prepare now to enter into the market as soon as the barriers are lifted. Americans doing business in Cuba is the next step to a truly global economy."
Cuban business experts, David Urra and Sue Ashdown from IcarusCuba LLC, were able to share their unique perspective with the business leaders. Mr. Urra broke down critical areas that American businesses should focus on when aiming to do business in Cuba. He stresses that projects and industries that are considered priority by the government are often approved and set in motion at much faster rates.
In her presentation, Ms. Ashdown empathized the necessity for businesses to be well informed at to have patience. “We believe that there are two things that are fundamental when looking at information about doing business in Cuba: One is that you need to get information from an original source, not an intermediary. And the second is that the information must be reliable.”
Despite the difficulties and slow process that lie ahead for American companies looking to tap into the Cuban market, optimism and excitement for trade with Cuba are strong within the Utah business community.
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