Forestry products are one of Georgia’s strongest potential exports to Cuba, Andres Villegas, director of international trade and marketing for the state’s agriculture department, told GlobalFax. He will discuss the possibility of selling these and other Georgia agriculture exports to Cuba during a conference in Cancun, Mexico, Jan. 30-Feb. 2.

          “Cuban infrastructure and construction projects would benefit from Georgia’s forestry products, especially if the country is aiming to revamp its tourist market,” Mr. Villegas said.

          The success of Cuba’s tourist industry will depend on the construction of new hotels and other infrastructure, including electrical systems, he noted. Georgia construction materials, including wood products, could contribute to this success in the future, he added.

          He said that Georgia trees, for example, could be used for utility poles that will last 70-90 years, whereas Cuba’s existing concrete poles last only 25-30 years.

          Mr. Villegas noted that Georgia is a major timber state, emphasizing its potential for the sale of forestry products. Examples are, he said, unprocessed timber, hardwood boards and construction molding. Most of Georgia’s wood is soft, namely pine trees used for construction, furniture and paper products, he added.

          In December, the U.S. sold products to Cuba for the first time since 1960. Mr. Villegas said this sale, valued at close to $40 million, bodes well for Georgia’s future trade with Cuba.

          He added that he is looking forward to the “U.S. Agricultural/Wood Products Sales to Cuba Business Conference” in Cancun to discuss the actual sale of Georgia agriculture products.

          “This conference will provide an opportunity for U.S. and Cuban regulatory officials, private industry and government economic development agencies to come to the same table to talk about issues that transcend both countries,” he said.

          Visit to register for the Cancun conference, sponsored in part by Norcross-based Conway Data Inc. Contact Mr. Villegas at (404) 656-3740.