The surprising economic connection between Georgia and Cuba

Z Politics

On Wednesday, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel of business and political leaders who pitched their predictions on the increasing relationship between Georgia and Cuba. While the Peach State’s agriculture and hospitality industries were highlighted for their growth potential, experts also pointed to another job market that could continue to grow thanks to diplomatic ties with the Caribbean nation.

The surprising link? A shared film industry.

At least two major films, the Fast and Furious 8 and Transformers 5, are set to take advantage of opportunities in the two locations.

James Williams, the President of Engage Cuba, said that production companies will look to Cuba for its unique cultural backdrop, while Georgia’s tax credits, proximity, and set talent are expected to attract more shared productions that will benefit both economies.

“Nothing had been done on a movie set of this scale in Cuba. If you’ve seen one of these productions done before, they bring hundreds and hundreds of people,”said Williams. “You’re going to see Cuba become an interesting, cultural Hollywood-type destination for filming. So while films like Fast and Furious was actually doing a lot of their U.S. filming in Georgia, goods were also moving from the state and we were facilitating the licensing.”

When it comes to the ongoing process of opening Cuba to doing business with the U.S., Williams added that the Peach State’s congressional delegation “is going to play to play a really important role.”

“There are a lot of Georgia members who are listening on this,” he said.