Last April marked history. April 7th, 2016 marked the first time U.S. construction companies took part in the Cuban Construction Fair. Ten U.S. companies participated in the fair in an attempt to express the interest of the U.S. business sector to invest in the island. Companies saw significant business prospects in the Cuban agricultural sector, which include Tradewind manufacturers, as well as markets for pumping and power equipment fueled with diesel for the industry.
These prospects were set in motion because Obama during his presidency began planning to create a new open policy with the island of Cuba for the first time since 1961. In July 2015, both Cuba and the U.S. re-opened embassies, which marked the rebirth of established relationships between the two governments.
What Is Next
The trade embargo set in 1962 is still in effect, and without a lift on the trade embargo, the U.S. will continue to be unable to explore most opportunities in Cuba. President Obama has made moves trying to lift the ban by issuing executive orders to allow commerce that isn’t specifically banned by Congress. There are also bills in Congress to kill the ban entirely, but current leadership does not feel this would be a valid option, at least until after elections. Even if all bans were lifted tomorrow, it is not only up to the U.S. to make a mutually beneficial relationship possible. The Cuban government would have to enact its own legislation to solidify business-relations between both countries.
Is It Worth It?
With a much needed update, it stands to reason that Cuba would be an ideal place for construction companies to work and invest. Several companies, such as Caterpillar, have already began making initial trips to Cuba securing their place for when construction relations begin. When Cuba finally opens their doors, American construction companies should be able to take advantage of opportunities in infrastructure, transportation, building renovations and hotel construction, because the Cuban capital has an obvious shortage of hotels for travelers.