Mississippi’s ports of Pascagoula and Gulfport signed deals with Cuba on February 20, with an aim of bettering business ties with this country.
The signings took place during a three-day visit of a congressional delegation from the United States to Cuba.
Manuel Perez Guerra, General Director of the National Port Administration of Cuba signed agreements with Mark McAndrews, Director of the Port of Pascagoula and Jonathan Daniels, Port of Gulfport Executive Director & CEO.
“The agreement attests to their mutual interest to establish an alliance of cooperation aimed at facilitating international trade and generating new business. The parties are undertaking a series of activities aimed at fostering the growth of global commerce and increasing economic growth by new job opportunities and revenues at the Port of Pascagoula and the Ports in Cuba,” the Port of Pascagoula wrote in a release.
Three more US ports inked deals with Cuba recently.
Brandy Christian, Port of New Orleans Chief Operating Officer and John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Governor, inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cuba on October 4, 2016, in an effort to expand trade and commerce opportunities between Louisiana and the Caribbean nation.
Another MOU was inked between the Virginia Port Authority and the Cuban National Port Authority last month. Under the MOU, the parties intend to evaluate commercial opportunities between the Port of Virginia and Cuba’s newly opened Port of Mariel Special Development Project.
Furthermore, the Alabama State Port Authority and the National Port Administration of Cuba entered into a five-year cooperative agreement to collaborate in port and cargo marketing studies and strategies, engage in promotion and exhibition activities, and share data.
The US-Cuba relationship has been plagued by antagonism since 1959 when the Cuban president founded a socialist state. Following this, the US pursued policies aimed at isolating Cuba politically and economically.
The recent agreements lay the groundwork to re-establishing trade relations between Mississippi and the island nation.