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Cuba Looks to Foreign Investment to Jumpstart Economy

June 17, 2016 | David P. Milian, Juan J. RodriguezArticles

As Cuba continues on its path of gradual economic liberalization, the island has set its sights on attracting foreign investment, according to a recent article by the Associated Press.

Havana has affirmed that it is looking for over $2 billion a year in investment in order to jumpstart its relatively dormant economy. For American and European firms and producers, this is welcome news, as the Cuban market represents an almost untapped well of potential revenue.

That said, Cuba's distinct regulatory environment and complex legal framework mean entry will not be easy. Foreign firms seeking to establish ventures on the island without proper counsel will face significant difficulties navigating a labyrinthian bureaucracy.

Richard Feinberg, author of "Open for Business: Building the New Cuban Economy," says investor euphoria is justified, but must be accompanied by extensive research and preparation.

"They hear about the U.S. normalization and they get a sense of, 'Wow, maybe Cuba really is now opening up," says Feinberg. "Then they visit and they find that many of the same obstacles to actually finalizing deals remain in place."

Still, Cuba's legal and regulatory hurdles are not insurmountable; they simply require comprehensive, localized expertise to traverse.

Carey Rodriguez Milian Gonya, LLP's Cuba Practice Group aims to provide this kind of expertise to firms wishing to expand into the Cuban market. Through partnership with Spanish law firm Díaz-Bastien Abogados, which has represented European corporate clients on the island for over 20 years, CRMG is poised to offer specialized legal counsel and risk management advice to American firms, pending the lifting of the trade embargo.

"Cuba is entering into an uncharted phase of rapid political and social change," says Juan J. Rodriguez, CRMG partner and former Director of the Cuban-American Bar Association. "While businesses should exercise caution and awareness of complex local considerations, there is no doubt that there are important opportunities to explore without delay."

Read the full article in the Associated Press here. 

For more information on CRMG's Cuba Practice Group, click here.

For more information on CRMG's strategic alliance with Díaz-Bastien Abogados, click here.