Havana Club, one of the best-selling rum brands in the world, has launched what it calls a “strong publicity campaign" in Asian countries in an effort to expand into that market, and particularly in China.
Mirelys Acosta, head of the Marketing and Sales Department of Havana Club International S.A., said Sunday this new strategy could mean significant increases in exports, especially because the rum ranked 24th in a list of the 100 most sold spirits in over 140 countries, selling about 4 million crates a year.
The decades-old U.S. blockade on Cuba prohibits the sale of Havana Club in the United States, the world's largest market for rum. Havana Club executives believe they could immediately begin selling around 1 million crates to this market alone once the blockade is lifted.
The U.S. and Cuba finally normalized diplomatic relations last year, but Cuban leader Raul Castro has said the blockade — and the 50 years of economic losses it brought about — remains an obstacle to complete normalization.