State minister for foreign affairs and foreign trade, Arnaldo Brown, says the Jamaican government is prepared to assist in facilitating local investors interested in exploring and tapping into business opportunities anticipated to materialize in Cuba, consequent to the United States’ re-establishment of diplomatic relations with that country.
Brown noted that, while the United States’ economic embargo imposed on Cuba over 50 years ago remains in place, the diplomatic re-engagement announced by President Obama is expected to facilitate “some economic activity” and “ease of movement” between the countries.
“After 50 years of embargo, there is still a lot of development that will have to take place to bring Cuba forward (in line with significant advances made by other countries). What they do have in their favour is the fact that they have a highly educated population and, therefore… closing of the gap won’t be that challenging for them. But it is still going to require significant investment of capital. So it, therefore, means that there are possibilities for investors in Jamaica to invest in Cuba,” the state minister said.
Speaking at the weekly meeting of the Trafalgar New Heights Rotary Club on January 15, Brown said an important aspect of the revived diplomatic relations is the possible dismantling of the embargo.
While acknowledging that the embargo’s removal is “a matter for the Congress of the United States of America to address”, Brown said thawing of the relations should generate a “myriad” of opportunities for large, medium, and small local investors to explore and tap into the potential business opportunities in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island of 11 million people.
Against this background, Brown said the government “stands ready” to “facilitate” anyone interested in exploring these possibilities. He contended that given the history of the relationship between Jamaica and Cuba, which established diplomatic ties in 1972, “the possibilities are significant.”
“I think the issue, really, is how we view what is happening and how we prepare ourselves for what is happening. As far as the government is concerned, I think that we have prepared the way in terms of the diplomatic relationships that are there, in terms of the connections that are there, and that it is really for private enterprise to become proactive in terms of seeking out the opportunities that exist there,” Brown said.
A key element of the diplomatic re-engagement between the United States and Cuba is the mutual re-establishment of embassies and resumed appointment ambassadors, as agreed by President Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro.
Source: Caribbean News Now