NEW YORK.- The headquarters of the Nasdaq stock market located in this North American cosmopolitan city hosted the Second Cuba Opportunity Summit; a forum organized by Wharton Business School in order to bring the North American business sector up to date with the business possibilities on the island.

Around 250 investors, entrepreneurs, company leaders and academics attended the event, celebrated in the emblematic intersection of Times Square, considered to be the heart of the Big Apple, where they heard speeches by authorities and participated in panels and debates.

NEW YORK.- The headquarters of the Nasdaq stock market located in this North American cosmopolitan city hosted the Second Cuba Opportunity Summit; a forum organized by Wharton Business School in order to bring the North American business sector up to date with the business possibilities on the island.Faquiry Díaz, president of the Investment Company Tres Mares and one of the organizers of the Summit, made the meeting part of Wharton’s priorities in order to spread information and knowledge regarding the opportunities and the risks of doing business with Cuba.

The first meeting of this kind took place on the same night that the presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced their decision to the world to advance in the normalization of relations, on December 17, 2014, the entrepreneur reminded The Havana Reporter.

According to Díaz, this second forum has generated higher expectations, in a context marked by the progress made in the bilateral relations and the executive measures dictated by Obama with the objective of making the embargo held against the Caribbean country for more than half a century more flexible. Not to mention the visit of the President to Havana, the first North American president to visit in nearly 90 years.

The executive director of Tres Mares added that steps have already been taken for the next edition of the event supported by the Norwegian Cruise Line and other companies which will take place in the Cuban capital, with the intention of addressing the opportunities available in a market isolated by the economic, commercial and financial Washington ‘fence’.

In addition to the summits, Wharton and the promoters of the rapprochement have published 25 studies regarding the economy of the island and have developed a Knowledge Mission: Havana, consisting of 30 entrepreneurs who spoke with authorities and colleagues, explained the graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Business School, one of the world’s most prestigious business schools.

The assessor Gustavo Arnavat of the International Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) highlighted the conference in New York in the agreement to strengthen the bilateral ties, particularly at a commercial level.

The former executive director of the United States Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said that the forum shows the interest taken by the North American companies in exploring the opportunities of reaching Cuba.

“We saw an interest taken in Cuba during the last 10-15 years despite the embargo, which has however increased considerably since the announcements made on December 17, 2014, as we have moved from an abstract idea to a more concrete one”, he said.

In accordance with Arnavat, hundreds of North American entities, the majority of them being large, have contracted lawyers and advisors or have traveled to Havana to evaluate their business possibilities.

He added that it is a long process because in the United States there are still laws that impose limitations (the embargo), while on the island there are also regulations that the North American companies must get to know better.

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