HAVANA, Aug 29. Spanish companies are considering resuming their expansion plans in Cuba after the Executive’s decision to open the economy to foreign investment for the first time in sixty years.
The decision tries to limit the situation of collapse that commerce is experiencing on the island, with empty shelves in supermarkets and without guarantees of supply of basic necessities, and the few genderless clothing, electronics or appliance stores in the windows.
Budget constraints have forced the Cuban Executive to open the economy to foreign capital, although it has kept an ace up its sleeve since the only way to operate in retail trade will be through the creation of joint ventures with Cuban partners.
In wholesale trade, joint ventures, an international economic association contract or the constitution of a subsidiary in Cuba, or the establishment of a branch as a company with 100% foreign capital will be allowed, as specified by Hermenegildo Altozano, partner of the law firm Bird&Bird, with extensive experience in legal matters on the island.
prices and brand
Waiting to learn more about the proposal, the companies begin to simulate what their return would be like. Eduardo Zamácola, president of the National Association of Retail Fashion (Acotex), which includes 800 companies and 15,000 points of sale, points out that the news has been received with great caution.
“Companies have received it as good news due to the affinity with Cuba and the good acceptance of trademarks in that region of the world, but at the same time they have many misgivings due to the uncertainty and lack of legal certainty.”
In his opinion, it is a great opportunity for big companies like Inditex, Mango or Tendam, with very aggressive international expansion policies except in Cuba. Inditex and Mango have had different paths.
While the firm founded by Amancio Ortega has never had a commercial presence on the island (it does sell online), despite already being present in 215 countries, the company founded by Isak Andic was a pioneer when it entered Cuba in 1996, where it reached have two stores in Havana.