The number of nations represented by their companies and chambers of commerce in the Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV 2015) has increased by 10 countries, in a moment of economic transformations that have put emphasis on the opening to investments and foreign trade.
Inaugurated on November 2 in the Expocuba fair grounds, the 33rd Havana International Trade Fair has exhibitors from some 900 companies from around 70 nations and a programme that includes press conferences and operations to promote Cuba’s strategy abroad. The previewed level of participation turns it into the largest event in a decade, a sign of the growing interest the largest of the Caribbean islands is generating at a time of transformations of its economic model and foreign policies.
The Cuban authorities announced that the Fair’s central theme will be the promotion of the country’s exports, but it will also dedicate a great deal of time to attracting foreign capital investments and negotiations for business alliances. Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca announced that the second version of the Foreign Investment Opportunities Portfolio would be presented. This tool includes projects with a more advanced level of study in order to facilitate for potential investors more abundant information to increase their interest.
The new portfolio, which will come out with a directory of Cuban foreign trade entities, has studied for each enterprise proposed for investment options to strengthen the productive linking with the rest of the national economy. This point is intended for the current strategy of merging with foreign producers as key for achieving integral projects that guarantee the country’s development.
Malmierca advanced that this time the portfolio includes economic sectors that had a smaller presence in its first edition. “The Opportunities Portfolio is evolving toward its improvement,” Malmierca said a few days before the opening of the Fair.
Spain continues being the nation with the largest representation and most contracted space, despite the growth of countries with an aggressive policy of rapprochement with the Latin American region, like China, which is Cuba’s second trade partner and came to FIHAV this time with a delegation of 40 companies.
The companies and agencies from Cuba’s major trade partner, Venezuela, also stand out for the amount of pavilions contracted and the wide programme of activities of the exhibitors. Other countries, like Mexico, Brazil, Spain, South Africa and Vietnam, are also previewing meetings between their businesspeople and Cuban government and business representatives and other guests.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba, Orlando Hernández Guillén, announcedthat the central pavilion will take up approximately 5,000 square metres and will group together in 121 stands more than 360 Cuban entities.
The Mariel Special Development Zone will again be presented as one of the principal attractions of the current Cuban opening. The Zone Office has announced several visits by a high number of business delegations, chambers of commerce and other foreign organisations with a similar profile. (2015)
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