|The Bahamas Investor Magazine
July 23, 2015
July 23, 2015
Ernesto Soberón Guzmán (Former Ambassador)
It is no secret that Cuba is living through a historic change in momentum that is impacting every aspect of its macro- and microstructure, starting with the economy.
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Since 2011, the Cuban government has undergone an updating process of its economic system that led it in 2014 to modify the country’s Foreign Investment Law. The new version of this law includes a wide range of information on the concessions granted to investors and the means of how to employ Cuban professionals, among many other areas of interest.
In December 2014, it was announced that bilateral relations between the US and Cuba would be reestablished gradually, and new policies implemented.
Cuba is still suffering the effects of the US embargo and it is hard for the country to trade with other nations in a way that is 100 per cent reciprocal.
However, the opportunities of investment existing in Cuba can complement and diversify the cooperative links with other countries, particularly with The Bahamas.
Cuba and The Bahamas are the closest neighbours in the Caribbean region and our trade relations go far back to when our peoples used to easily come and go, mainly from the eastern areas, to exchange or buy products, due to the closeness of our territories.
Cuban and Bahamian cultures are also very similar in their roots and that is the first asset of our economies.
Our countries recently signed two bilateral agreements in the areas of plant and animal health management aimed at expanding our spectrum of exchange in those areas. The field of agriculture is of critical importance to both of our countries and one through which our nations could exchange more than technical assistance for the benefit of our peoples.
Our embassy in Nassau aims to promote foreign direct investment in Cuba, from individuals or companies and offer help and information on the legal framework needed to make it possible. Agriculture, education, culture, sports and health are just a few of the many areas in which Cuba and The Bahamas have a great deal to share.
Synergy in tourism
Of course, tourism has come to be one of the most important growth drivers in our economies, and Cuba will continue to develop the sector. However, the future achievements that Cuba can attain in the tourism industry should not be regarded as a threat to any neighbouring nation.
Our differences must be taken not as dividing or isolating elements, but as characteristics that distinguish us from each other and that may become, if we want, distinct elements of attraction for those that choose our beautiful countries in which to spend their leisure time.
The creation of a multi-destination region is a goal still to be fulfilled by the countries of the Caribbean region, but I truly believe that Cuba and The Bahamas can be the pioneers in achieving this and the moment to seize that opportunity is now.