News and Facts about Cuba

Chamber of Commerce Starts Group to Boost Cuba Business Opportunities

Chamber of Commerce Starts Group to Boost Cuba Business Opportunities
The council will work with Congress and the public and private sectors
to support business ties between the U.S. and Cuba.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amid a surge in interest in U.S. opportunities in Cuba, the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced Friday it is launching a council
aimed at removing trade barriers and improving business ties between
both countries.

Leaders of the U.S.-Cuba Business Council said they will work with
Congress as well as the public and private sectors in both countries to
create jobs and advocate for reforms in the U.S. and Cuba.

“We’re facing a historic opportunity to support a vital and growing
Cuban private sector, one that is defined by entrepreneurs whose
expanding efforts show that the spirit of free enterprise is already
taking hold in the country,” U.S. Chamber and CEO Tom Donohue
said.

President Barack Obama has eased economic restrictions since announcing
his vision for improved U.S.-Cuban relations nine months ago, although a
trade remains in place. U.S. firms are now allowed to send
supplies to private Cuban businesses and export telephones, computers
and technology.

Still, efforts by U.S. businesses to expand trade and have
encountered bureaucratic hurdles in both countries that have hindered
growth.

Credit card companies still cannot transfer payments to Cuba and
telecommunications firms have not been able to get equipment to the
island, which is 90 miles south of Florida. Meanwhile, Cuba’s government
does not run its Internet connection anywhere near capacity levels.

The Treasury and Commerce departments recently announced updated
regulations aimed at easing procedures for U.S. citizens who want to
or do business in Cuba. The former Cold War foes are expected to
resume direct postal service by the end of the year.

The new council said it will also urge the Cuban government to make
policy changes that lessen control over Cuban businesses. Cubans
frequently complain about the rigidity of their country’s system and
have also expressed growing concern about inequality.

–Associated Press

Source: Chamber of Commerce Starts Group to Boost Cuba Business
Opportunities –
http://www.inc.com/associated-press/chamber-commerce-starts-group-boost-cuba-opportunities.html

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