Cuba opens doors to Iranian private sector

Iran and Cuba are both under the US sanctions since their respective revolutions in 1979 and 1959. Cuba has undergone political changes and is seeking to attract more foreign investment despite the US sanctions.

10 August 2019
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Iran and Cuba are both under the US sanctions since their respective revolutions in 1979 and 1959. Cuba has undergone political changes and is seeking to attract more foreign investment despite the US sanctions.

Cuban Ambassador to Iran Alexis Bandrich Vega, left, sits next to Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) First Vice President Hossein Selah Varzi, addressing Iran-Cuba business forum at ICCIMA HQ in Tehran on Saturday, 10 August. IRAN CHAMBER NEWSROOM/Bahareh Taqi Abadi

Cuba has devised new investment laws to better attract foreign investors as the island nation eyes more foreign help to boost its economy, says the Cuban envoy to Iran, stressing that the country’s doors are wide open for Iranian businesses.

“We don’t have anything to lose if we accept this US maxim pressure campaign and use it to develop our economic relations,” said Cuban Ambassador to Iran Alexis Bandrich Vega, addressing Iran-Cuba Business Forum that was held at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) headquarters in Tehran on Saturday.

“In Cuba there is a new Constitution, new president and new Companies Laws that help attract more foreign businesses to our country,” he added.

The new Cuban Constitution entered into force on 10 April after a popular referendum in February.

The Cuban parliament also voted in a new President Miguel Díaz-Canel in April last year to usher in a new era of political life in the Caribbean country.

“The Iranian possibilities to exchange with all Cuban economic actors, including the non-state sector, are very welcome,” Vega said, stressing that Cuba is trying to implement all the agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and respects its commitments.

Iran can play a more economic role in the Cuban economy in six principle priorities of the island country, according to the Cuban diplomat.

Two nations under sanctions
The US imposed punitive measures against Cuba in 1960 following victory of the country’s Communist Revolution. The sanctions are still in place 60 years after the popular uprising against a US-favoured president.

Iran has also been reeling from the US sanctions for the past 40 years after the Islamic Revolution overthrew the US-preferred Shah dynasty.

“The US blockade has hindered Cuba’s commercial ties with the world during the last 60 years,” said Vega, celebrating the 40th year of establishment of Iran-Cuba diplomatic relations.

“Iran has the opportunity to become an important business partner by advancing technological sectors of Cuba,” he reiterated.

Havana International Fair 2019
Tania Causse Rodríguez, First Secretary and Commercial Counselor of Cuban Embassy in Iran invited Iranian businesses to take part at this years’ international fair that will be held in the Cuban capital Havana from 4-8 November. 

“More than 3,000 businessmen from 60 countries will take part. It’s been a while that we haven’t had an Iranian delegation,” she said.

Vast Iranian economic capabilities

“Iran has great potential in sharing is professional expertise with Cuba in various sectors such as foodstuffs, medicine, share of technological expertise and vaccines,” said ICCIMA First Vice President Hossein Selah Varzi at the forum.

He suggested that private Iranian and Cuban companies establish joint ventures to have sustainable economic relations.

Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) can also establish direct maritime route with Cuba to export Iranian goods to Cuba.

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