Annually, Cuba offers $5 Billion in economic business opportunities for American companies. Industries like agriculture, commercial real estate, auto sales, healthcare, travel and entertainment are just a few markets that look promising for the 11 million people living in Cuba. Demographic data shows that 48% of Cuba’s population is between ages 25 – 54 years old (CIA). The average monthly income per household is quite low at less than $50 but much of the cost of living is subsidized by the government like education, healthcare, food and utilities. Cuba is a huge opportunity for low cost manufacturing and industrial business given its highly skilled labor force. It may present a viable alternative to Mexico for manufacturers like GM, Ford, Carrier HVAC and Caterpillar Heavy Equipment.
Many expect with Cuba’s economy rapidly developing; a more private investment model will benefit companies like Caterpillar Inc. For example, Caterpillar just announced it’s new construction equipment dealer for Cuba is RIMCO, a private company based in Puerto Rico. Caterpillar will provide high quality construction equipment for Cuba’s infrastructure expansion plans in commercial real estate building, mining, power systems, marine and industrial engines reported iHumanMedia.com.
Cuba maintains about $175 Billion annual consumer spending power. Approximately 476,000 Cuban workers are currently registered as self-employed, small business entrepreneurs. About 72% of the total Cuban economy is services, 18% agriculture and 10% industrial manufacturing.
Top agricultural products include sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; and livestock. Top industrial products include petroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, and sugar in Cuba.
The Cuban regime has updated its economic model to include permitting the private ownership and sale of real estate and new vehicles, allowing private farmers to sell agricultural goods directly to hotels, allowing the creation of non-agricultural cooperatives, adopting a new foreign investment law, and launching a “Special Development Zone” around the Mariel port.