Last week, Gov. Cuomo became the first sitting governor to visit Cuba since the U.S. announced it would restore diplomatic relations with the country. He was joined by a number of elected officials and business leaders in in an effort to promote economic opportunities and cooperation. Joining the Governor on the trip were Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, and North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas.
In a statement, Gov. Cuomo said:
“The representatives in New York’s delegation will help ensure Empire State companies are at the front of the line as the door opens to a market that has been closed to U.S. enterprise for over half a century. These industry leaders will serve as ambassadors for all that New York State has to offer and will help form the foundation for a strong economic relationship between New York and Cuba as legal restrictions on trade are eased in the future.”
Upon his return, Gov. Cuomo announced that two New York entities on his trade mission, a technology company and a medical facility, entered into agreement while in Cuba. The Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo signed an agreement with the Center of Molecular Immunology in Havana to develop a vaccine for lung cancer. Infor, a New York city-based software company has reached “an agreement in principle” to provide its software to a private Cuban company so it can resell it. The U.S. Treasury Department must approve the agreement.