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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Unilever Corporation Plots Return to Cuba

The Dutch multinational Unilever, one of the largest global manufacturers of personal hygiene and home care products will return to Cuba after being authorized to create a joint venture with majority ownership, reported dpa news. The company, which will partner with the State firm Intersuchel, will invest more than US $35 million and should begin operating this year in the free zone of the port of Mariel, located about 40 kilometers west of Havana. Unilever will hold 60 percent of the shares in the “joint venture” according to the announcement by the Dutch company and representatives of the Cuban government, coinciding with a visit to the island by the Netherlands’ Foreign Trade Minister, Lilianne Ploumen. The European multinational had ceased production on the island in 2012, after having operated since 1994. Over these last years, Unilever conducted negotiations with the Cuban authorities and finally came to an agreement allowing for the majority foreign ownership. To date, it is rare for foreign companies to have a majority in the “joint ventures” with the Cuban State companies. Joint ventures are the most common mode of operation for foreign investment on the island,. “We hope that Dutch companies can come, invest and work with the Cuban side” said Ploumen, who arrived Sunday to the island accompanied by a delegation of 77 representatives of Dutch companies. It was a “long process” of negotiation, she noted.

Source: Havana Times