US business leaders assess Cuba business climate

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Associated Press

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 28 at 11:34 AM

LA HABANA (AP) — The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas J. Donohue is heading a group that has arrived in Cuba to assess the island's business climate.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and Commerce Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz greeted the group when it arrived Tuesday afternoon. Members of the group include Marcel Smits, the chief financial officer of Minnesota-based agribusiness giant Cargill.

The two countries have no diplomatic relations, and the U.S. maintains a 52-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. But American food and agricultural goods are sold to the island under an exception to the sanctions.

President Raul Castro has launched a program of economic reforms in recent years, and has said that more foreign investment will be vital to meet the country's future financial goals.

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