Jamaica pledges to help local investors move into Cuba
Jamaica government says it is prepared to assist local investors wishing to explore opportunities in Cuba as the United states moves to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Caribbean country after several decades.
Junior Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Arnaldo Brown, said that while the United States’ economic embargo imposed on Cuba over 50 years ago remains in
place, the diplomatic re-engagement announced by US President, Barrack Obama, is expected to facilitate “some economic activity” and “ease of movement’ between the
countries, among other things.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Brown said an important aspect of the new diplomatic relations is the possible dismantling of the embargo, even as he acknowledged that it’s removal is “a matter for the Congress of the United States of America to address”.
But he said thawing of the relations should generate is 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.
Brown said the government “stands ready” to “facilitate” anyone interested in exploring these possibilities. He said 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.