Friday, August 28, 2015

Cuban delegates attend get-together in Brookfield

Cuban delegates attend get-together in Brookfield
Updated: Aug 28, 2015 5:36 AM
By Danielle Cotterman, Reporter

International delegates from Cuba are talking with local leaders about
potential business as the two countries normalize relations.

On Thursday, State Representative Sean O'Brien announced his run for the
State Senate.

O'Brien told a crowd of supporters he will run for State Senator Capri
Cafaro's seat with the 32nd District. Cafaro's term expires at the end
of this year.

O'Brien says he has big shoes to fill and talked about some of his goals.

"Economic development, schools we got a lot of work there to do, just
improving our quality of life here. There's so much to offer and that's
what we are going to work on," said O'Brien.

Visiting Sean O'Brien 's event were international delegates from
Cuba. Over the past year The Regional Chamber of Commerce has inquired
about business opportunities with the neighboring country.

The Cubans say they're excited about the improving relations but, their
main concern is lifting the embargo and deciding once and for all what
to do with the Guantanamo Bay.

"There are a lot of opportunity in the business sector in the business
activity that the U.S. business sector is losing having that kind of
situation and restriction in the bilateral relation that they are not
allowed to go to Cuba to explore those opportunities of doing business,"
said Rubén Ramos Arrieta with the Economic and Trade Office of the
Embassy of the Republic of Cuba.

Arrieta says Cubans have interest is learning better agricultural
techniques from the U.S, whose production per acre is much higher.

President of The Chamber Tom Humphries says construction is another

"They don't have the material to build buildings, housing and we have a
lot of that type of manufacturing here between Pittsburgh and Cleveland
and predominantly here between Youngstown and Warren," said Humphries.

It may take a while for the benefits of construction and agriculture to
take a strong foothold but, they believe a more immediate impact could
come from tourism.

"We are now trying to develop in our country that type of activity, like
golf courses that are quite interesting for the tourists activity to
develop," said Arrieta.

Another area that could see an immediate impact -- academics.

University's are a natural fit for international cooperation and
Youngstown State University has been working hard to recruit
international students.

"Your students better become internationally understood. They better go
out and go over to other countries. You better have an international
student population on your campus so that your entire student body
understands that it's a global world and that's the world they are going
to be entering," said Y.S.U President Jim Tressel.

Valley officials are expected to make a couple trips to visit Cuba over
the next six months.

Source: Cuban delegates attend get-together in Brookfield -
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