State Rep. Sean J. O’Brien (D–Bazetta) will travel to the recently re-opened Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for a first round of business and trade discussions with members of the Cuban government. Conducted in concert with the office of Congressman Tim Ryan (D–OH 13th District) and designed to capitalize on the recent “thaw” in relations between the U.S. and its island neighbor to the south, the purpose of the high-level discussions is to foster economically beneficial business opportunities between Cuba and Ohio, and in particular Trumbull County.
“When you consider the number of top-notch businesses that call Ohio home – especially those in my district in Trumbull County – in addition to the fact that many companies are actively seeking to expand into new markets, it makes sense to showcase our business environment and look for opportunities close to home,” said O’Brien. “The profits and other benefits that will be realized by doing business in such a fresh market – one which possesses so much potential and has, for years, been hungry for the type of investments we will now be able to provide – are immense.”
In addition to benefiting business interests in Ohio, opportunities for trade also promise to bring the distinctive services and knowledge of Cuban companies to the Buckeye State for the first time in over 50 years.
“While we are obviously looking forward to bringing American business to Cuba, we’re very excited to see what the Cubans can bring to the table here at home, as well,” noted O’Brien. “There is a strong sense of innovation among companies in Cuba that could help contribute to an even healthier and more vibrant economic climate in Ohio.”
While this round of meetings will be used as an initial introduction to currently existing potential trade opportunities, it also signals the beginning of the planning process for a proposed trade mission to the island of Cuba. That trip is slated to take place this coming fall, and will consist of a delegation of Ohio elected officials, as well as Trumbull and Mahoning County business leaders.