President Barack Obama visits Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana. President Barack Obama visits Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana. © Pete Souza Wikimedia

Spanish industry giants to pitch to Cuba

IT has been reported that Spanish electricity providers, such as Gamesa, Acciona and Gas Natural, sent emissaries to Cuba in order to establish trade opportunities and connections for business development now that the US has removed its long-standing sanctions and trading embargo with the neighbouring country. 

The Cuban government has apparently decided to concentrate on finding new methods of obtaining and maintaining renewable energy sources in order to minimise external influence generated from importing electro-power, preferring to produce their own.

The emphasis on finding energy production sources that can be generated from wind or sun is linked to the supposition that Cuban fuel is considered to be of rather low quality, as well as in short supply.

A further 55 enterprises from Spain are visiting Cuba during this official trip, organised by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. The Cuban market, now open after the removal of the American trade and commerce blockade, has attracted massive international interest and many companies headed there in order to cement their position on this emerging economical podium. 

Amongst the first US companies travelling to conquer new territory were Marriott, Google and AT&T, after US leader Barack Obama’s historical visit to Havana, closely followed by a state visit from French president, Francois Hollande; the first European leader to make the step. 

The exciting opportunities come with Cuban president Raul Castro’s policies for liberalisation and modernisation of the previously isolated state.

Modesto Pineiro, who is the Vice President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce as well as the chairman of the Bilateral Business Committee, has stated that: “Spain has a very competitive position in Cuba - it is the third largest presence on the island - and must move to maintain its weight and amongst increased competition and interest from other countries.”

He believes that Cuba is a fast growing market and that Spain and its companies should take a leading role in Cuba’s development process. Considering that export to the island grew 38 per cent in 2015, reaching a record €964 million, it is not surprising that many countries are interested in sharing Cuba’s expanding commercial platform.

Business opportunities for Spanish companies are not just limited to renewable energy products, but also to the Island’s plans to develop their shipping industry and trade ports, warranting a visit from Urbas and other real-estate firms, who develop ports such as Ineco and Port of Barcelona.

Furthermore, companies such as Productos La Constancia, Roser and Germina, who specialise in the installation of equipment for the food industry, are aiming to improve Cuba’s food tourism sector.

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