Engage Cuba was pleased to attend the 2017 PacGraf exhibition that took place from February 7th through the 9th in Havana, Cuba. PacGraf Cuba, an international printing, packaging and graphic arts exhibition presents a platform for communication, idea sharing, and networking opportunities among Cuban and international packaging companies.
Over 50 companies from 10 different countries attended the exhibition to share ideas within their industry. PacGraf connected U.S. and foreign packaging companies with Cuban importers and entrepreneurs to forge meaningful business relations.
Engage Cuba was pleased to bring down Commonwealth Packaging, a Pennsylvania-based packaging company, and facilitate a relationship with Adorgraf, a Cuban private business that specializes in packaging.
This relationship exemplifies the benefits of strong ties between U.S. businesses and Cuban entrepreneurs. However, the embargo prevents normal trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba and negatively affects businesses on both sides. As a result of Cold War era policy, financial and logistical barriers impede Commonwealth and Adorgraf from realizing a full-fledged trading relationship that would empower these two family businesses on both sides of the Florida Straits.
Although President Obama’s actions towards normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations were crucial first steps in the process, there is still a lot of work to do. Lifting the embargo would ensure the normalcy of trade and business between U.S. companies and Cuban entrepreneurs, such as Commonwealth Packaging and Adorgraf. While speaking with several Cubans at the exhibition, it became clear that they are looking to improve trade options between their country and the U.S. to expand and improve their businesses. Both the U.S. and Cuba would benefit greatly from lifting the limitations of the embargo that affect normal trade between both countries.