By Pavel Vidal and Scott Brown (Atlantic Council, July 2015)
The new US policy toward Cuba comes at a critical moment for the island’s economy. After twenty-five years of post-Soviet adjustment and patchy results from limited reforms, a consensus exists that the economic system and old institutions require a fundamental overhaul. Taking lessons from the experiences of other former communist countries, this report argues that a series of steps can be taken now—by Cuba, the United States, and the international community—to pave the way for Cuba to be reintegrated into the global economy and welcomed back as a full and active member of the international financial institutions.
The Cuban Money Crisis: The Biggest Change to the Island's Economy Isn't the Thaw in U.S.-Cuba Relations
By Patrick Symmes (Bloomberg Business, April 1, 2015)
In this article, Symmes discusses the phasing out of the dual currency system in Cuba. The CUC, a convertible currency pegged to the dollar and reserved for use by tourists, will be invalidated through an incremental process over the course of 2015. In addition to the phasing out of the CUC, new monetary reforms by the government of Raul Castro will also include the regular Cuban peso becoming exchangeable and floated against a basket of five currencies including the yuan, the euro, and the U.S. dollar.
By Gail DeGeorge, et al. (Financial Post, December 26, 2014)
In light of recent changes in US-Cuba relations, the article discusses possible barriers and risks of doing business on the island, using Myanmar –another economy in transition– as an example. DeGeorge, et al. advise foreign investors planning to explore the Cuban market to conduct risk analysis and be prepared for uncertainty.
By Marc Frank and David Adams (Reuters, December 22, 2014)
Although international companies have thus far had an advantage in several sectors of the Cuban market, U.S. corporations are strategizing to move in quickly to the telecom, construction, food, light manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries, among others. The article suggests that, while there could be plenty of opportunities for U.S. companies when Cuba's government opens up the economy, the pace of change remains uncertain.
By Julie Creswell (New York Times, December 18, 2014)
In the wake of President Obama's announcement, U.S. companies are assessing the business opportunities and barriers facing them as they establish themselves in the Cuban market. Although Cuba tends to welcome companies that provide products or services to support Cuba's domestic sector, companies geared toward selling consumer goods and those in franchise-based models, such as McDonalds and Subway, will likely face more obstacles to their establishment.
By Karen DeYoung and Carol Morello (Washington Post, December 18, 2014)
DeYoung and Morello discuss the multifaceted process ahead in the normalization of the U.S. and Cuba's diplomatic and commercial ties. While citizens will be able to take advantage of the U.S.'s loosening restrictions, it is impossible to anticipate how long the full process will take since each phase must be approved by both governments.
By Thomas J. Donahue (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, December 17, 2014)
In this statement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports President Obama's decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba. Despite the fact that many reforms will be required, the Chamber views the announcement as an important step in the right direction and will "continue to push for the end of the embargo."