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Cuba–Economy In Transition


Since the Cuban revolution on 8th January 1959 Cuba’s relationship with the rest of the world could at best be described as strained. Whilst this study tour is focused upon business in Cuba an outline understanding of Cuba’s recent history is essential in understanding some of the dynamics in play: in 1961, Dwight Eisenhower imposed a trade embargo on Cuba. The embargo coupled with Cuba’s centrally planned economy has resulted in a repressed market. However, a thawing in the relationship announced by Barrack Obama in early 2015 has created opportunities that are attracting the attention of both foreign investors and Cuban entrepreneurs. Whilst there appears to a growing understanding within Cuban governmental circles that they must open their economy up to international business there are a number of factors that influence the scale and pace of change, for example, Trump administration foreign policy, Key industries are state-owned and poor infrastructure. What this will mean for Cuba is as yet unclear. What is clear is that this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from Cuban businesses and witness an economy in transition.


Programme focus


The Cuba programme offers the participants the rare opportunity to witness the revival of an economy and also the opportunity to immerse themselves in a unique business ecosystem as market forces create the drivers for change.

A typical programme explores how contact with international markets generates change in a repressed economy and also how once released economic evolution has unforeseen consequences for both the business community and the state. At the end of the programme participants will have a better understanding of the opportunities presented by the opening of a new economy, the economic implications of state control and also the positive and negative effect of business on emergent economies.

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Visit to the Center of Biotech and Genetic Engineering                      Meeting Cuban Tourism Ministry GM                                       
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A visit to Cohiba Cigar Factory in El Laguito  
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 Meeting with famous author Marc Frank 

Programme Highlights 

  • Meetings with local academics and students 

  • Visit local companies in various industries

    • Biotech & Pharma

    • Banking & Finance

    • Tourism & Hospitality

    • Tobacco 

    • Food and beverages 

    • Alcoholic Beverages 

    • Special economic zone

    • Manufacturing  

  • Multinational companies based in Havana 

  • Panels with entrepreneurs in the emerging private sector 

  • Meeting with market experts and expats 

  •  Cultural activities 

  • UNESCO Heritage Sites

  • Explore Havana's famous nightlife- visit Fabric Arte Cubano 

  • Day trip to Varadero - one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean 

Mariel Special Economic Zone
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