SBTM October 2015 - Page 15

Doing Business in Cuba By Ludmila (Mila) Rusakova Golovine T he last year has brought a tremendous development onto the world stage and one which could have considerable ramifications on international business. On December 17, 2014 US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro issued a statement declaring that their respective countries would take steps to re-establish diplomatic relations and loosen travel and trade restrictions which have been in place for decades. Then, barely six months later, Cuba re-opened an official embassy in Washington D. C. as the US President restored full diplomatic relations. Due to the rapidity of change, Cuba’s proximity to the United States and its citizens’ longstanding connections to the country, the impending changes to the political relationship could be a boon to new business opportunities between the two countries. Nevertheless, despite improvement on the political level, cultural differences will still remain. It is only by being aware of these differences and possessing the skills to deal with them, that American businesspeople will be able to take advantage of these new opportunities. Firstly, although the political situation is improving, there ar H