Posted on March 16th, 2016 at 2:47 pm
USA & Cuba Relations update:
Ahead of Obama’s trip to Cuba, new regulations, hotels, and airlines make news
New US policy changes towards Cuba were announced this week, less than a week before President Obama is scheduled to visit Cuba from March 20 to 22, 2016. President Obama will be traveling to Cuba alongside executives from a number of US companies including Marriott and Star wood Hotels who have applied for authorization to operate hotels in Cuba.
On Monday of this week, United Airlines submitted paperwork to operate flights from their US international hubs to Havana’s Jose Mart International Airport. The business announcements reflect a rollback of a number of policy restrictions, the 5th such rollback by the Obama administration since December 2014. Some notable new regulations released today include:
- Cargo vessels and airlines can now make stops in Cuba and continue on their routes without special licensing
- Educational travel itineraries can be now made for individuals, they no longer need to travel with a group
- Banking regulations allow for less blocking of funds
- Cuban citizens can now be hired in the US, making way for entrepreneurs, artists, and athletes
- Scholarships can now be extended to Cuban citizens
Attended Festival del Habano XVIII
Ralph L. Gazitua, WTDC President & CEO, traveled to Havana, Cuba, March 3-5 to attend XVIII Festival del Habano. This was Mr. Gazitua’s 6th time traveling to Cuba since March 2015 after announcements were made restoring diplomatic relations with the United States. The Habanos Festival is the island’s foremost tradeshow for the cigar tobacco industry. Popular themes this year were Cohiba’s 50th-anniversary celebration and 2016 Limited Edition cigars from Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta.
NAIOP Panel on Cuba’s effect on South Florida real estate
At Thursday’s NAIOP South Florida Chapter Meeting, WTDC President & CEO Ralph L. Gazitua joined a panel of South Florida professionals to speak about the evolving relations between the United States and Cuba and how the South Florida Real Estate Market may be affected. NAIOP is the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.
FTZ Annual Report due
FTZ Operators: The Annual Report is due on March 31 and includes all information from January 1 to December 31 of last year. Reports must be submitted via OFIS.
Miami Herald: ‘Bucking trends, Port Miami had a good year in 2015’
Overall trade with the United States may have fallen, as did numbers at many of the country’s biggest ports, but Port Miami showed a 5.75% gain in 2015, equating to an additional $1.37 billion in trade flowing into the Port.
Somewhat surprisingly, medical devices with Costa Rica had the biggest impact on Port Miami’s surge in trade. World City’s Ken Roberts broke down the numbers in his article published in this week’s Business Monday edition of the Miami Herald on March 14: ‘Bucking trends, Port Miami had a good year in 2015.
International Women’s Day Photo
On March 8, WTDC recognized the women in our company on International Women’s Day. WTDC has three women in manager roles: Vera Gazitua, Accounting Manager, Virginia Diez, Operations and Customer Service Manager, and Castell Chavez, Transportation Manager. Thank you for all you do!