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Antigua planning early moves on Cuban market

Staff writer |
Antigua and Barbuda is sending a trade mission to Cuba that Trade, Commerce, and Industry Minister Paul Chet Greene sees as imperative given the imminent lifting of the decades-old trade embargo.

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"We need to get in on the ground in Cuba as early as possible as the potential for business opportunities is significant," he said of the June 20-July 1 mission.

Greene said that new shipping lanes will soon open into Cuba, making the island of 11 million people accessible to products from Antigua and Barbuda and other countries.

On weekly a basis, a number of containers leave Antigua empty, bound for the United States. That, he said, offers an opportunity to boost trade.

"We could arrange for these containers to take goods destined for Cuba back to Miami, then it's a quick trans-shipment to Havana," said Greene.

"I see much prospect from jumping in early with this mission to Cuba," he said, expressing confidence in the quality of the products that will be on display when the mission visits Cuba.

Greene said that the Ministry of Tourism will also play an important role in the mission and that he expects discussions with Cuban representatives will include air links, noting that Cuba already has its national airline, Cubana, which may be used to service a Antigua-Cuba route.

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