I'm David Lenigas.

I build successful businesses, create proper jobs for lots of people and open up opportunities for whole communities. I try to make a lasting difference to the world.

That’s what I do. And I’m good at it. Hard work is my hobby - and what a great hobby to have!

I grew up all over Australia starting my life as a ‘bush boy’ in a tiny town of less than 10 people on the edge of the desert and in the middle of nowhere. Life was not easy as a kid, and my parents struggled at times. My Dad worked three jobs to educate six kids through school. But I learned then that your life is what you make it. I left home as soon as I was able at 18 and went into mining......Read More

In my experience, there are three types of people in business. Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what the $*&@ just happened.

The last bunch don’t hang around for long. I’m in the first lot.

But anyone who tells you business is easy is either lying or trying to pick your pocket. Or both. Believe me, it’s damn hard. Spotting opportunities, working the margins.

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My friends at Goldman Sachs have just issued an investor note: Lithium is the New Gasoline.’

Goldman are saying that the unique properties of lithium and its use in portable energy storage (batteries) position lithium to “be a key enabler of the electric car revolution and replace gasoline as the primary source of transportation fuel.”

It makes interesting reading, and I summarise the main points for you here.

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This week we heard dramatic news that global motoring giant Porsche, the European powerhouse of sports cars, has thrown down the gauntlet to America’s electric vehicle darling Tesla Motors.

Who’s going to win?

And now we learn that the Chinese are the world’s biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles.

There’s some serious competition and some bloody fighting on the horizon, my friends.

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So what to make of the Cuban economy?

Back in the 50’s Cuba was a major trader with the world – exporting molasses, cane sugar, tobacco and coffee.  $2.2Bn to the USA alone, at today’s prices.

But the 55-year US embargo have taken its toll.

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My mate Gordon Mott was Chief Editor of Cigar Afficionado. And we both agree that a good cigar, a real Cuban Cohiba of course, has health giving properties and can be just what the doctor ordered at the end of a long day with a large glass of Cuba’s best Havana Club rum.

Did you know that Cuban life expectancy is approximately what you would expect in North America and Western Europe, and infant mortality in Cuba is lower than the USA?

And it’s a little known fact that Cuba has a surprisingly decent, if not a world-recognised health service and biotech industry.  And healthcare is free for Cubans, unlike much of the rest of the world.

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Transforming Global Energy

This week’s climate conference in Paris is one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders in history.

Obama, Chinese Premier Xi, and even Putin appear aligned on the need to take action to tackle climate change now.  Can you believe it? I’ve been in China on a bad smog day and it’s not nice. The air has taste.

But I do have some sympathy with Indian Prime Minister Modi:

Climate change is not of our making” he said today, “It is the result of global warming that came from the prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel.”

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If you want a taste of Cuba – I thoroughly recommend you watch this.

Make yourself a cup of tea, put your headphones on, and be transported to one of the greatest countries in the world.

Through its representative offices in Havana, Travelwelcome and InCloud9 currently provides the bespoke services of a specialist Cuban ground handler which works with other specialist travel companies around the world to assist with tailor made trips in Cuba for their clients.

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Although Obama has struck a political deal to bring this wonderful country in from the cold, and Kerry announced to the world both countries will “stop being the prisoners of history”, the US embargo and travel restrictions are still in place.

In spite of this many American travellers have realised now is the time to go.

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Tech Boom Cuba

The Internet in Cuba is bloody awful. I know from personal experience. But it is better than it was a week ago, a month ago and a year ago. At least Cubans still actually talk to each other because emails are an unaffordable luxury for most, at least for the time being.

Perhaps this is why Cubans have speed texting down to a fine art. Seriously fast. No emails, just texts. The Cuba cell network is brilliant and Cuba-to-Cuba phone and text are as good as anywhere else on earth, especially in the cities.

Less than five percent of Cubans have Internet access. A big leap from a short while ago. Some hotels have free Wifi now and some hotels will sell you Wifi cards. But at $10-$20 an hour it’s damn expensive for a slow, shitty connection that keeps dropping out. Not very good then for streaming the latest episode of Downton or CSI. In fact impossible. I did actually manage to watch BBC One last week for two minutes until it buffered out.

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Africa will feed not only itself but the rest of the world in time. It will become the bread basket to the world.

David on Africa
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