Q:

What natural resources are present in Cuba?

A:

The most common natural resources of Cuba are cobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum and arable land. The by-products of arable land in Cuba, namely sugar, tobacco and rum, are the most important export items of the Cuban economy.

As of 2014, the top export item in Cuba's economy is raw sugar, making up 25 percent of all products exported from Cuba to the world. The next four big exported Cuban resources are refined petroleum at 15 percent, nickel mattes at 14 percent, rolled tobacco at 14 percent and hard liquor, namely rum, at 6.7 percent. The top five countries that receive these exports from Cuba are China, which receives 30 percent of Cuba's exports, Spain at 11 percent, Brazil at 5.1 percent, Belgium-Luxembourg at 5 percent and Italy at 3.2 percent.

There are also several companies based in Cuba that have profited off of these major exports. Havana Club Rum, which was founded in 1878, the leading rum manufacturer and exporter of Cuba, as of 2014. Both Cubatabaco and Habanos S.A. dominate the tobacco industry in Cuba, and were originally one company that split into two in 1994, when Habanos split to become the exporter and Cubatabaco remained the manufacturer. The Unión CubaPetróleo, also known as CUPET, extracts, refines and distributes oil and petroleum products.

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