As Cuba opens up to the world, what will it do about its crumbling infrastructure?
John Kerry visits Cuba on Friday to raise the American flag and officially reopen the U.S. embassy. It’s the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state since the 1940s.
An influx of trade and tourism is expected into Cuba. That is putting added urgency to the need to improve the country’s aging infrastructure, such as building tens of thousands of new hotel rooms, improving Internet connectivity, telecommunications and power plants.
“There’s not been much investment in things like … building roads…. Electric grids are very arcane and weak,” says Eric Olson, who is with the Latin America Program at the Wilson Center, a Washington D.C. think tank.
“It would be easier to begin by naming the things that don’t need to be improved,” says Ted Henken, co-author of the book “Entrepreneurial Cuba.”
There is a lot of interest from firms in the U.S., Europe and Asia. All are eager to get a slice of the billions in Cuban infrastructure improvements to come.