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The CEO of Havana Club International, Jerome Cottin, said on Sunday that the company is ready "to conquer the US market" after the change in relations between Havana and Washington.

Havana Club International was created from the union in 1993 of the state Cuban company Cuba Ron SA and the French group Pernod Ricard. The economic embargo prevents the sale of the rum in the United States, a market that absorbs 40% of the production of these drinks and where managers of the firm believe they can sell in short-term one million nine-liter cases.

"It would be a strong, important growth," the executive added, noting that the United States is "enormous potential".

Cottin said that "our greatest wish is that one day there can be sold for US consumers to enjoy a high quality rum."

Before an eventual normalization of ties between Cuba and the United States, executives say the rum industry of the island has aged and production capacity to respond to all requests that would make the US market if economic sanctions lifted against the island.

Despite not having access to that market Havana Club rum currently occupies 24th place in the ranking of the 100 best drinks sold worldwide, with about four million nine-liter cases each year in more than 140 countries mainly in Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Chile.

Source: Diario de Cuba

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