Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 22
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Cuba urges Azerbaijani businessmen to invest in its economy and is ready to ensure protection of their investments, newly appointed Ambassador of Cuba to Azerbaijan Alfredo Nieves Portuondo said in an interview with Trend.
In March 2014, a law on foreign investments entered into force in Cuba, he said.
The law slashes taxes on profits from 30 percent to 15 percent and gives new investors eight years of exemption from paying taxes. Tax benefits for companies that are 100 percent foreign-owned are reserved for joint ventures with the Cuban state and investments linking foreign and Cuban companies.
Cuba has announced creation of a free economic zone, the Cuban ambassador added. The law on foreign investments in Cuba opens up more opportunities for the investments in the country, and favorable conditions are created for this, he noted.
It is necessary to identify areas that may be of interest to Azerbaijani investors, the diplomat said.
He added that Azerbaijan can also offer Cuba a lot of areas for cooperation.
Tourism sphere can surely become one of the important directions of cooperation, he said, adding that tourism industry of Cuba is one of the developed in the world.
Some 2.5-3 million tourists visit Cuba every year, he said. Cuba’s tourism industry is also open to Azerbaijani investments, the country is ready to accept Azerbaijani entrepreneurs, who are willing to invest in the Cuban tourism sector, the diplomat noted.
He also said that there are different ways to invest in the tourism sector of Cuba, adding that this can be made via direct Azerbaijani investments, creation of joint ventures or with the participation of a third country.
Azerbaijani investors can participate in such projects as the construction of hotels, shopping centers in the tourist areas, the development of the restaurant business, the delivery of food and other products for the tourism sector, etc., the diplomat said.
He added that the launch of direct air traffic between Istanbul and Havana by the Turkish Airlines company can also open good opportunities for Azerbaijani tourists and businessmen.
Azerbaijani travel companies can take advantage of the opening of the direct flight from Istanbul to Havana to increase the growth in tourist traffic between Azerbaijan and Cuba, the ambassador said.
In the future, the Cuban national airline may enter into an agreement with the Azerbaijan Airlines on the opening of air traffic between the two countries, he noted.
Azerbaijan and Cuba may also organize joint flights from Baku to Havana via Istanbul, and this issue has already been discussed with the national airline of Cuba, the diplomat said.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Asebaa