Cuba: An Island Nation Opens Up

By Ivan Arturo Ebergenyi Thorpe

World Economic Forum on Latin America 2015.

"It's time to embark on a relationship with Cuba that should been so from the very beginning," said Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico's Minister of the Economy, during Thursday's program of conferences hosted by the World Economic Forum on Latin America.

The statement was made during a session held in the company of the Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister, Jose Antonio Meade and Cuba's Minister of Finances, Lina Olinda Pedraza. Cuban director of Foreign Investment, Debora Rivas was also present.

The discussion, which took place in the Guadalajara conference hall of the Riviera Maya's Grand Velas hotel, was held in the evening hours, towards the conclusion of the day's schedule of meeting. It mainly addressed the island nation's recent diplomatic opening and rapprochement with the United States.

The atmosphere of the meeting was largely collegial, with the Cuban party affirming its dedication to preserving "the revolution's conquests" while looking forward to future commercial relations with the United States and elsewhere.

cuba wef 2015

"We have always been open to business," stated Pedraza, hinting at the embargo imposed by the United States in the 1959.

She informed that new legislation would see the introduction of tax incentives and accountability for foreigners looking forward to invest in Cuba. She also expressed optimism at the prospect of a "mutually beneficial" relationship between her country and Mexico in regards to tourism. This statement seemed addressed to quell a subtle tension shared by those who currently see Cuba's opening as a possible threat to the Mexican industry.

The Minister stated that her government regards tourism as a complement, not competition with its neighboring nations, and proposed the creation of a "multi-destination" made up of different countries.

The meeting ended on a high note at 7:45pm.

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