NABI made the first trip to Cuba by an alcohol distributor in around 60 years

NABI made the first trip to Cuba by an alcohol distributor in around 60 years

A group of US-based drinks importers have visited Cuba to scope out potential trade opportunities. 

The National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI) said the trip, which took place last month, was the first to be made by the country's alcohol importers to Cuba in around 60 years. NABI arranged the visit in order to "better understand Cuban beverage alcohol production, sales and regulations".

Bill Earle, NABI president, said: "We began planning this trip following the announcement that the American political strategy with Cuba had shifted.

"With so much change on the horizon, our leadership felt it was important that NABI members see and experience Cuba as soon as possible."

The trade organisation also claimed the trip facilitated contact with Cuban ministers responsible for food, trade and joint venture management.

"Cuban government officials expressed openness to discussions about future trade and ways to partner with beverage alcohol importers, and NABI established important contacts at all levels that will assist in future relationships," the organisation said. 

Steps to normalise trade between the US and Cuba began late last year.