CUBA BUSINESS NEWS: TOURISM, INFRASTRUCTURE, ENERGY AND FINANCE

 

Verizon to offer roaming services in Cuba

 

Verizon Communications Inc. announced on 17 September 2015 it will offer wireless roaming services to clients in Cuba starting next week, making Verizon the first U.S. company to offer such services. The new services are available thanks to roaming agreements between Verizon and local Cuban telecom companies. The prices for the services offered, which run US$ 2.99 per minute and US$ 2.05 per megabyte of data, are greater than the Cuban average daily wage and are clearly marketed towards U.S. travelers. Telecommunications companies were among the first to be granted some exemptions from the U.S. trade embargo as relations continue to thaw.

 

Source: Southern Pulse (www.southernpulse.info)

Mexican tourism industry looks into expanding into Cuban market

 

Mexican tourism officials on 4 September 2015 expressed their desire to make inroads into the Cuban market and take advantage of an expected influx of U.S. travelers likely to visit the island. Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid said at a press conference in Havana that Cuba can help compliment, rather than threaten, Mexico’s tourist industry. He suggested tourism could spur Mexican investment to entice visitors into Cuba, including improvements to airport infrastructure as well as attracting special events such as conventions and concerts. ProMexico General Director Francisco Gonzalez highlighted the incorporation of fifty “heavyweight” Mexican firms in the tourism industry ready to make inroads into Cuba. Mexican visitors to Cuba increased by 21.5 percent in July 2015 compared to twelve months prior.

 

Source: Southern Pulse (www.southernpulse.info)

 

Raúl Castro to speak before the U.N. General Assembly

 

The United Nations released on 15 September 2015 an updated list of speakers for its General Assembly Meeting in late September 2015, which included Cuban President Raúl Castro. This will be President Castro’s first appearance at the U.N. as well as his first visit to the U.S. since he became the head of state in 2008. Castro is scheduled to speak on 28 September 2015, the same day President Obama is expected to address the Assembly.

 

Source: Southern Pulse (www.southernpulse.info)

Cuba eases restrictions on private sector loans

 

According to Cuban officials on 2 September 2015, workers in the private sector can now apply for loans with a three day approval period for up to US$400 without providing economic guarantees from Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA). The BPA also made obtaining loans and servicing debts easier by raising the maximum length of grace periods from 5 years to 10 years, lowering the minimum amount of credit required, and decreasing documentation requirements. Cuban banking authorities stated a rigorous analysis will still be completed with each loan application to examine the feasibility of the business, its chances of success, and the history of the debtor before it can be approved for a loan.

 

Source: Southern Pulse (www.southernpulse.info)

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