Every year Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment prepares a tome of investment opportunities available to foreign investors.
The recently published 2016 Portfolio of Opportunities for Foreign Investment offers insights into the priorities and limitations for foreign investment from Cuba’s point of view.
The document identifies Cuba’s Cubay rum brand as a potential partner – and in Cuba that means partnership with a Cuban government entity. You can obtain a copy of the document here:
As centrally planned documents go, this one is an improvement over last years’ and can be a helpful guide to investing in Cuba even for projects not listed in the document. One thing is for certain: Cuba will remain a state-driven economy with large government holding companies dominating the scene. Foreign ventures will require majority Cuban ownership – although this appears to be a flexible condition based on a recent deal with Unilever Plc, the European consumer goods product company.
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On the demand side, rum is performing ok. According to the IWSR, in 2014 eight of rum’s top 10 markets faced volume declines – only France and Cuba produced growth in rum demand.
In terms of total alcohol demand, analysts forecast the Global Alcoholic Drinks market to grow at a CAGR of 1.49% in terms of volume and 3.16% in terms of revenue over the period 2013-2018. According to the report, growth in the Global Alcoholic Drinks market is mainly driven by the increased demand for premium alcoholic beverages. Premium brands are currently at a high demand when compared to economically priced products because of the increase in disposable income of consumers, the use of alcohol as a status-symbol, the need for luxury, and the association of the “premium” label with beverage quality and taste.