In just two months, the best opportunity to become familiar with the current business climate in Cuba and easily access top executives of hundreds of national companies begins: the International Fair of Havana (FIHAV, 2017). If you are considering adding the Cuban market into your business portfolio, the Expocuba fairgrounds, with their wide pavilions divided by industries and exhibiting countries, creates an ideal environment for introductions and negotiations. It is the most important business event of the year on the Island that includes the introduction by the Minister of Foreign Trade of the 2017/2018 Portfolio of Opportunities for Foreign investment.
Cuba’s energy matrix is heading in the direction of renewable energy, "No matter how long it takes, the course is already charted..", commented Luis Bérriz, president of Cubasolar, a Cuban NGO that for decades has prompted research and adoption of renewable energy sources. The Cuban government has declared its intention to increase its energy production to 24% from renewable sources by 2030, a significant change when compared with the current 4%. Specialists as Berriz, however, think that 4% underestimates some of the applications that renewables currently provide in Cuba. Another step in the direction of facilitating the integration of these technologies is Decree-Law No 345: "Development Renewable Sources and Efficient Use of Energy", approved by the State Council on March 23rd of this year.
On June 16th, 2017, President Trump’s administration announced the general framework for the new U.S. Cuba policy. Formal implementation of the new policy will take place once the U.S. Treasury Department issues the updated regulations expected sometime this Fall.
Highlights of the new Policy:
The response that Cuban institutions and officials have offered us over the country's priorities for foreign investment, over and over again coincide: Energy and Infrastructure. The Cuban government plans to cover 24% of national energy demand with renewable energy sources by 2030 and, in order to meet this objective, has earmarked in its portfolio of foreign investment several projects based on Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) Which may be 100% owned by the foreign investor.
In this context, the next IX International Conference on Renewable Energies, Energy Saving and Energy Education (www.cuba-renewables.com), May 31 - June 2, will be held in Havana, where the main Cuban regulators and companies will participate. There will be three days of intense work and debate on the present and the future of renewable energies in Cuba.
With great pleasure we share this article from Cuba Standard, a specialized media on business and economic news, regarding Cuba Strategies Inc.
We only want to clarify that we are an independent consultancy firm and that we have no ties to the Cuban Government, except for the experience of many years of professional work done in Cuba within the state and private sectors. You can read more news from Cuba Standard at www.cubastandard.com.
U.S. consulting firm offers strengths on Cuban side
(Cuba Standard, Vol 24 NO. 11)
U.S. companies are beginning to contemplate renewable-energy projects in Cuba, executives with a little-known Miami-based consultancy have moved into the spotlight recently.
Three-year old Cuba Strategies Inc. (CSI) dedicates itself to providing consultancy services to international entities intent on investing in Cuba’s emerging renewable-energy sector. Unlike other U.S.-based Cuba trade consultants, whose real expertise has been within the U.S. legal realm, the Cuba Strategies team — consisting of a mix of MBAs, attorneys and entrepreneurs — is relevant to prospective investors because of its ties to the Cuban government and state entities, as well as its knowledge of Cuba’s arcane legal system.
Since the emergence of Cuba Strategies, Inc., its team has worked systematically to strengthen the bridges between the peoples of Cuba and the United States, as well as between Cuban emigres and our compatriots on the island. We are convinced that the ties that unite us are much more significant than any differences. It has also been part of our policy to acknowledge the well-deserved recognition of Cuban institutions and their professionalism in carrying forward the process of updating the Cuban economic system, as well as the diplomatic, economic and human challenges represented by the process of normalization of relations, initiated between both countries. We could not be more grateful to those who have received and helped us in both lands so that our modest project of contributing to a prosperous and sustainable Cuba can keep moving forward.
Dan Vermeer is a prestigious lecturer at Duke University in North Carolina; his career highlights include senior responsibilities at Coca Cola related to water management and sustainability/corporate responsibility before becoming the director of Duke’s University’s Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE) of the Fuqua School of Business. Professor Vermeer assists his MBA Energy Club students to identify potential challenges that stimulate their curiosity and technical ability: when his former colleague, Silvia Garrigo of CSI, suggested “Cuba” as potential area of study, Professor Vermeer immediately set up a series of calls and interactions which included his students and the CSI team.
Given Duke’s reputation and their quality of work, CSI enthusiastically embraced the collaboration. The University’s Energy Club itself is comprised of graduate students, many of whom already hold positions at top tier engineering companies in the United States.
In the words of Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment of Cuba and president of the Organizing Committee of the fair: "FIHAV is much more than an exhibition of products or a forum dedicated to business. We think that this event is a true expression of the friendship between our countries and of the growing possibilities of establishing commercial and investment pacts "(closing words).
Undoubtedly, the key to understanding the increase in participants for this business fair is the policy, consolidated two years ago, with a new Foreign Investment Law and the intention to attract these investments in the magnitude of 2000M a year, as well as the friendly welcome to the country and the care with which these processes have been developed. In total, 73 countries participated at the fair, with about 500 exhibitors, a number that exhausted the exhibition spaces and made it the largest in its history.
In the aftermath of the Energizing Cuba conference, where the Americas Society / Council of Americas and Cuba Strategies Inc. collaborated to discuss the subject of renewable energy in Cuba and its potential as an investment opportunity, journalist Yosvany Albelo Sandaran, from Oncuba, extended some questions to two of the members of Cuba Strategies Inc. Fragments of this interview were included in his article about the meeting involving businessmen, academics and students in NY. Cuba Strategies decided to publish the entire interview and to share some insights on issues that may be of interest to all of those who were aware of the event.
You can read the original article in Oncuba at the following URL: http://oncubamagazine.com/economy-business/energizing-cuba-opportunities-and-risks/
Organized in collaboration with Americas Society / Council of the Americas (AS/COA) and Cuba Strategies Inc., the Conference Energizing Cuba took place on October 7, 2016, in one of the beautiful salons of the AS/COA.
Around 8:30 am, the reception hall of the historic building began to fill with guests, participants, panelists and executives who had registered to learn about opportunities in Cuba. The meeting room was almost full when Alana Tummino, AS/COA’s Senior Director of Policy, began her introduction of the event. Immediately following, we had the privilege of introducing a high-level panel of specialists in energy engineering, legal consultancy, and international relations.