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European officials and businessmen are visiting Cuba more than ever, in a hurry to seek investment and attracted by the economic reforms on the island after the thaw between the United States and the communist government. A total of 75 Spanish companies accompanied Jose Manuel Soria, Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain, during his visit this week to Havana. Meanwhile, other 140 Italian companies also visited Cuba with Carlo Calenda, Italy’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development. The Foreign Minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also planned to lead a delegation of 100 German companies to Cuba, but his trip was postponed due to the ongoing negotiations with Iran and the crisis in Greece. Similar delegations from France, Britain and the Netherlands have landed on the Caribbean island in recent weeks. Since US President Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced last December the restoration of diplomatic relations, dozens of American companies have knocked on the Cuban doors, including conglomerates such as Johnson & Johnson, DowChemical, Microsoft, Google, Dell and airlines. Mariel economic area is especially attractive for investors because it allows 100% foreign companies to repatriate their profits under favorable tax regime.


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