The Cuban president reiterated the considerations made by his predecessor, Raul Castro, when referring to boost foreign investment, to end excessive delays in the negotiation processes and to eliminate false fears towards foreign capital.
This dramatic and emotional outburst is growing like a bamboo tree, and the influence of social media has lead people eagerness to know what’s on in the mystical island. Celebrities are no longer concerned in keeping a low profile while traveling to Cuba, the opposite, they are on the front page of any newspaper, some of the bolder ones have made history by extending their trip to cultural events, such as the concert of the Rollin Stone, the fashion show by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld who took his Resort 2017 Chanel show to Havana Cuba.
Hollywood’s filmmakers, supported by the country’s independent production industry shot House of Lies and Fast & Furious in the most impressive historical city, the Old Havana.
So, how did they pull it off?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) removed Cuba from its exclusion list enabling U.S.-based telecom operators to provide telephone and Internet services to Cuba without the need of a separate approval from the FCC. And based on that IDT Corp. has formed a J-V with the Cuba’s telecommunications company ETECSA; Verizon Communications Inc. is offer roaming wireless services to its American customers while in Cuba.
According the OFAC, transactions that are directly incident to professional media or artistic productions of information or informational materials for exportation, importation, or transmission, including the filming or production of media programs (such as movies and television program). The Cuban record enterprise EGREM and Sony Music Entertainment signed a licensing agreement for the international distribution of EGREM’s catalog of Cuban music.
Carnival cruise line – Fathom – cultural immersion and people-to-people connections.
All this does not represent a legislative change, as the embargo remains in place, however recent changes have been the cornerstone to overcome the complex red tape procedure in order to get the green light from the US treasure department in any project related to Cuba.
People are changing their skeptical approach, they are coping with the governments bureaucracy by being more persistent and patient, and focusing on results. A couple of examples: Cleber LLC the first US enterprise to operate in the Cuba Mariel Development Zone, Starwood Hotels signed three new hotel deals in Cuba, it’s the first U.S. company in the hospitality sector to launch in the Cuban market.
OFAC has issued a general license authorizing carrier services between the United States and Cuba, directly or indirectly, by vessel, in addition to the existing authorization for provision of such services by aircraft. Its doesn’t include general aviation.
JetBlue the leading airline to the Caribbean already offers nonstop charter services to and from New York, Fort Lauderdale and Havana.
American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines among others have submitted their applications to the US transportation department, hopping to get the required license to fly to Cuba.
Do you need a license, in which category does your business or interest fall?
Different interpretations arrive via different paths, so make sure you are well in formed, by reading the Cuba-US, FAQs
Private entrepreneurs in Cuba are benefiting from new bank services launched on Monday, as the private sector experiences a boom, prompted by the government’s partial deregulation of economic policies in recent years.
In a first, self-employed workers will now be able to manage their accounts online, said Director Greicher La Nuez from the Popular Bank of Saving (BPA), meaning no more waiting in long bank queues.
This services is now possible thanks to growing internet access, developed over the past few months.
La Nuez added that the bank is also looking at ways to allow business owners to pay their employees via remote banking.
Another service on trial, she said, would allow workers from the private sector to manage their funds via check books and credit cards.
Published by Tele Sur
Foreign companies interested in pursuing contracts with the Cuban state-owned enterprises have to introduce their company to potential government’s representatives, to research the Cuban marketplace for available opportunities, and understand how it works.
Some facts to take into consideration:
It is not a free market
Most of the Cuban economy is under state ownership, which means the market is controlled and regulated by government policy, thus based on the fact that your partner will be the government, the competition is almost zero.
Assessment and acceptance
As probably most of you know, selling to the government is different than selling to a private sector, and Cuba isn’t an exception. You should make sure you know your own company inside and out. Experience counts, and the government also looks for financial stability; which indicates you’ll be in business in the years to come.
In short you have to prove who you are what you do.
The government purchases goods and services, which must meet certain requirements, such as the best possible cost to meet the needs in terms of quality and quantity. Your products or services need to be aligned with the Cuban economic model in terms of improvements and social interest.
To facilitate public procurement your company should be registered with the state-run agencies to be placed on potential supplier lists. If you are ready to bid on government contracts, it’s necessary to submit your business profile to the government agencies that are used to locate contractors.
Build a relationship
Government officials are also human beings, and therefore they like you also need to know the person behind the potential partner. Get your foot in the door, go to Cuba and meet them, participate in their business events, show your interest, it will help you know better marketplace opportunities and figure out if there is a real business opportunity for you.
Wholesale and Retail business are run by agencies set up as corporations by the government. Forget about the idea of your home rules related to exporting/importing your goods and services by yourself, it doesn’t apply, getting a government contract is the way to go.
The ongoing Cuban economic reforms in the “private” sector (Self-employed, Small business and the Cooperatives) “bonded” with the easing of US sanctions against Cuba has generated an overwhelming enthusiasm within the Island and especially in the Cuban exile community. Entrepreneurs are looking at wholesale and retail market as a big investment opportunity.
We must not fail to admit the new approach of both governments regarding to a process which has been around for over 50 years, is not just a historic moment for both countries but also it’s a good new time for the Cuban people are coming soon. However, the path is not completely paved yet, there are some legal barriers, which we must consider.
The regulation of non-agricultural cooperatives establishes equal footing with the rest of the productive forms and services in the country, in terms of production, commercialization and services, according to the purposes for which it was founded. The cooperative as holder or owner of its products and services can make direct sales without intermediaries.
Trading activities in Cuba: How it works?
Wholesale and Retail business are run by agencies set up as corporations by the government, by foreign corporations (in partnership with the Government), or by an individual agent, who can obtain his license to operate by investing and partnering with local businesses. To obtain the license, importers and exporters will have to appoint an agent who will be able to obtain a license that will allow them to receive or send goods; however Agents and intermediaries can handle goods on consignment for licensed importers, but they can’t import directly and they can’t be a distributer either.
The non-state forms of management, which were approved for carrying out of foreign trade activities, should apply for grant of such powers and the authorized of export and import list of the products, according to the regulations issued for this purpose by the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Import & Export from the United States to Cuba
The recently changes on the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) related to exports and reexports to promote more effectively positive change in Cuba’s private sector by supporting private economic activity. Items include building materials for use by the private sector to construct or renovate privately-owned buildings including privately-owned residences, businesses, places of worship and buildings for private sector social or recreational use; goods for use by private sector entrepreneurs such as auto mechanics, barbers and hairstylists and restaurateurs; and tools and equipment for private sector agricultural activity. It is intended to facilitate Cuban citizens’ lower-priced access to certain goods to improve their living standards and gain greater economic independence from the state. It also enables the export and reexport to Cuba of items to further support civil society in Cuba. (OFAC)
I wonder if, when the Obama’s administration issued the resolution described above, were they unaware of the Cuban export and import rules, has the decision been made deliberately?