Cracking the Cuban market: Land of opportunity for Louisiana

There are plenty of Louisiana business sectors that could benefit from improved relations with Cuba. Here’s a partial list.

Food and agriculture: This sector is the most obvious. To name only two examples, chicken and rice are Cuban staples.

Forestry: Treated wood from Louisiana could be used to build Cuban homes and hotels.

Chemicals: Once banned, the Obama administration has begun to allow chemical exports to Cuba.

Shipping and logistics: Louisiana ports will see more traffic as exports to Cuba increase.

Technology: The Obama administration is encouraging efforts to improve telecommunication and Internet access on the island.

Heavy industry: Cuba has established a major port and industrial trade zone at Mariel, and foreign investment is anticipated, although development has been slow.

Oil and gas exploration: Cuba hasn’t had much luck finding oil offshore, but it will try again with help from Angola. It also has courted U.S. oil companies, which perhaps might be tempted if the embargo is lifted, oil prices rise and companies can be convinced that their assets will be safe from government seizure.

Real estate: While it’s not yet an option for Americans, commercial developers from other nations have had success with hotels and resorts in Cuba, although they’re essentially partners with the regime.

Tourism: Technically, pure tourism is still illegal for Americans, but travel is permitted for 12 categories of activities. If Congress lifted the tourism ban, travel agents might be swamped by the pent-up demand.


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