A few practical tips for doing business in Cuba
Cuban government holding companies retain majority ownership of all projects.
International trade by US companies is restricted.
The average wage for workers is $20 per month.
Much of its business is done on the black market.
US companies can sell health related goods and services as well as unbranded food and agricultural products.
The Cuban government has a poor track record as a borrower and business partner.
1492 - Explored by Christopher Columbus; became a colony of Spain.
Later, slaves were brought from Africa to work on coffee and sugar cane plantations.
1898 - US defeated Spain during Spanish-American War which assisted in Cuba becoming a free nation.
1902 - Cuba became a free nation.
1959 - Fidel Castro led revolution overthrew government; Cuba became a Communist dictatorship.
Location: Cuba is an island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean. It is 93 miles from Key West, Florida.
Government Type: Communist State
Capital City: Havana
Literacy Rate: 99.8%
Size: Slightly smaller than Pennsylvania (Note: US Navy has a naval base in the north part of island [Guantanamo])
Population: 11.2 M (2023 est.)
Population Growth Rate: - 0.19% (2023 est.)
Unemployment Rate - 2.76% (2021 est.)
GDP: $93.79B (2017 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: 1.25% (2021 est.)
Labor Force - $5.135M (2021 est.)
Labor Force Breakdown – Agriculture - 4%, Industry - 22.7%, Services - 73.4% (2016)
Major Industries - Energy production, mining, agriculture, especially sugar and tobacco, tourism
Total Product Exports (2021) - $1.09B
Major Product Exports (2021)
Rolled Tobacco - $275M
Nickel - $148M
Raw Sugar - $121M
Hard Liquor - $91.8M
Zinc Ore - $89.6M
Major Export Partners (2021)
China - $419M
Spain - $118M
Germany - $70.2M
Belgium - $58.7M
Switzerland - $46.2M
Total Product Imports (2021): $3.45B
Major Product Imports (2021)
Poultry Meat - $330 M
Wheat - $153M
Concentrated Milk - $107M
Crude Petroleum - $70.2M
Major Import Partners (2021)
Spain - $741M
China - $574M
US - $309M
Canada - $225M
Italy - $185M
English language Online News Site
Havana Times - general news - www.havanatimes.org
Sampling of Companies
Cubatabaco – tobacco - www.empleadoracubatabaco.cu - Havana
Cuba Petroleo Union - oil and gas - www.cupet.cu/es - Havana (Note: Was owned by Texaco and Shell Oil. Now owned by government.)
Habanos S.A. – tobacco - www.habanos.com - Havana
Havana Club - distillers & vintners - www.havana-club.com - Santa Cruz del Norte
Biocubafarma Business Group - biotechnology/medicines - www.biocubafarma.cu - Havana
Sherritt International - cobalt and nickel mining - www.sherritt.com – Moa (Note: A Canadian Company & joint venture with Cuban government)
2023 National Holidays
January 1 - Triumph of the Revolution
January 2 - Victory Day
April 7 - Good Friday
May 1- Labor Day
July 25 - Revolution Anniversary Holiday
July 26 - National Revolution Day
July 27- Revolution Anniversary Holiday
October 10 - Independence Day
December 25 - Christmas Day
December 31 - New Year's Eve
By Paul Mastilak