Sunday, 21 December 2014

Biotechnology, Agriculture, Tourism Businesses Look to Cuba for New Markets

Among those companies ready to embrace Cuba on a business front are Deere and Co. and Caterpillar, both makers of farm equipment and products; Marriott International and all the hotel companies; Carnival Cruise Lines and its competitors; and beverage and food-makers like PepsiCo and Coca Cola, according to the New York Times.
But those companies are not alone in their quest to secure a space in the new marketplace, according to The New York Times. There are many more lined up to do business with Cuba.
And it is a two-way street for opportunity, as the U.S. can benefit from Cuba's medically based biotechnology innovations, like its vaccines, and partner in initiatives that use Cuba's resources like its mining and farm land. 
Lifting the embargo on trade with Cuba gives farmers in particular a bountiful new market without restrictions, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
In a statement, Vilsack said that the warming of relations with Cuba "expands opportunity for U.S. farmers and ranchers to do business in Cuba. It removes technical barriers between U.S. and Cuban companies and creates a more efficient, less burdensome opportunity for Cuba to buy U.S. agricultural products...It also makes those products far more price competitive, which will expand choices for Cuban shoppers at the grocery store and create a new customer base for America's farmers and ranchers."
Cuba has a robust agriculture program, and the U.S. can look to invest - and has been investing already - a significant amount in a country that has been open to growing genetically modified agriculture products since 2009. At that time, Cuba was expected to plant its first genetically modified corn product.
One company that has been doing business with Cuba since 2005 is Oxnard, Calif.-based Syngenta, a manufacturer of agricultural pesticides and seeds and products for the control of vectors and rodents.
Syngenta has maintained an office in Cuba since 2005, according to a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dated Dec. 16, 2011. 
Syngenta established ties with Cuba not only to establish a presence in the country but also to enhance its sales to countries with which Cuba does business, according to the company's SEC filings.
In the letter, Syngenta said the products it sells in Cuba are agricultural pesticides and seeds.
Cruise lines have been waiting for the opportunity to take visitors to Cuba, and hotel companies are looking to build a presence there, Travel Leaders Group executive Roger Block told Bloomberg Businessweek. He said U.S. visitors will want to go to Cuba for the experience of being among the first there. 
Carnival Cruise Lines Chief Executive Arnold Donald said the company known for its worldwide fleet of "Fun Ships" was excited about the opportunity to go into Cuba. 
The investment has an advantageous cost-to-benefit ratio, particularly since most of the cruise lines, like Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line are based in Florida.

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