CANEC, a guide for doing business with Cuba

Accessing new markets can be a complex process, and in the Cuban case is no less so, especially in times of economic and legal changes in the country. Advising foreign entrepreneurs on the road to do business with Cuba is one of the objectives of CANEC, an economic, commercial and financial consultancy that has over 20 years experience in these areas.

Its services, also meant for national entities, include audits, processing and accounting systems and internal control procedures, advice on business organization and logistics in warehousing, transportation and production.

Similarly, they offer management training and training of personnel; monitoring, evaluation and monitoring of projects in the investment phase, pre-investment studies, information technology, among other benefits. Such would result in increasing the efficiency of processes, shortening transactions and increase yields.

Eduardo Bencomo, Director of Development of CANEC states that this company has about 60 contracts with foreign customers from Spain, Italy and Panama plus Germany, Canada, China, France, among others. That includes the Bureau Veritas and Homa sports shoes brand. “Our job is to teach the country, existing regulations, for them to know the political structure, new legislation, how to move in the Cuban market.”

In this sense, the processing and presentation of the documents required by national entities, and advising foreign companies regarding the establishment of branches or agencies here, and the formulation of proposals for joint ventures are essential.

Within the domestic market, which reported higher trading volumes and revenues, they are serving Labiofam, Habaguanex, Palco, CIMEX, the Cuban Vessel Register, as well as self-employed and cooperatives. The number of loyal customers-those who repeat, beyond the specific need they might have-is about 500 organizations.

Moreover, private enterprises and cooperatives (agricultural and non-agricultural) emerge as a sector with high requirements on good management practices. Currently training is one of the top requested services to CANEC by these figures, although Bencomo explains that as they will be gaining in knowledge and capital, they will need other options.

For example, the company prepares an online consulting office, which should start within a few months. This method, implemented by telephone, email or online, will answer questions from customers in a maximum of 72 hours.

The  Law 118″On Foreign Investment”, the operation of the Special Area Development Mariel, and changes to increase the autonomy of state enterprises, form a context where potentially high demand for consulting for CANEC and Cuban consulting firms as CONABI, the International Center of Havana (CIH), Conas, Audita, and other similar institutions. “We are at a time of major change, and in that scenario we try to play a leading role,” said the manager.

Eileen Sosin Martinez, OnCuba
June 26, 2014