The exporting capacity of the Cuban business sector, and the features that make its goods and services highly competitive on the international market will be the center of attention at the 33rd Havana International Fair, FIHAV 2015, taking place from November 2 to 7.
The idea is to take advantage of Cuba’s largest trade fair, which is also one of the largest in Latin America and the Caribbean, to show how much the island can do in terms of foreign trade.
For this reason, the fair’s objective this year is to promote the wide range of exportable items included in its portfolio such as professional and technical services which currently account for 70 percent of exports.
About 120 Cuban entities representing 365 companies will exhibit their products at the main pavilion of Expocuba exhibition site, in an area comprising 5,000 square kilometers, with a wide range of choices capable of meeting the requirements of the most demanding customers.
A total of 900 entities from more than 70 countries will bring their products, said Cuba’s Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca.
This 33rd edition of FIHAV records the highest number of participants over the last decade, as well as the largest exhibition area (nearly 20,500 square meters), 2,000 square meters more than last year, Malmierca informed.
In addition to the participating companies, more than 30 high-level delegations are expected to attend the event, most of them headed by ministers.
Also as part of related activities, 15 National Days of different countries will be celebrated, something that reaffirms the fair as being a platform to help Cuba establish economic relations with the rest of the world.
These facts, Malmierca stressed, are indicative of the world business community’s increasing interest in attending FIHAV 2015, and also a sign that the U.S. policy aimed at keeping the commercial, financial and economic blockade against Cuba in place is becoming obsolete.
Like in all 32 previous editions held since 1982, all the economic sectors will be represented at the fair, making it a suitable space for exhibitors and visitors to establish commercial links, materialize business projects, identify new trading partners, exchange knowledge and receive information updates on technological achievements.
Likewise, the fair will provide room for becoming acquainted with Cuba’s Law 118 on Foreign Investment (approved in March 2014), with actions contained in a large portfolio of business opportunities aimed at boosting commercial ties that help contribute capital, technology and market.
Estimated at $8.7 billion, that portfolio contains 246 projects related to priority sectors which aims to develop the country in line with the strategies designed for updating the national economic model.
Construction, energy, trade, agriculture, forestry, the sugarcane industry, tourism, transport, and the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries are among the priority sectors included in this business portfolio.
Regarding this, plans are being put in place to show the investment guarantees offered by Cuba, featuring the launch of a second version of the business portfolio and the directory of the Cuban exporting companies.
In this sense, the Cuban minister noted that the updated version includes projects more oriented towards the development of productive chains and business opportunities in sectors with little presence in the first version.
Meetings with Cuba’s largest trading partners, and the presentation of comprehensive projects for exporting Cuban products are other activities to be held during the fair.
Like in the two previous editions, this year’s event will put an emphasis on the possibilities for investing in the Mariel Special Development Zone, where several projects have already been approved for the production of goods and services, one hundred percent foreign capital.
Also featuring as a new element this year is the likely attendance of 50 delegations representing numerous international trade promotion institutions, whose objective is to strengthen relations and cooperation with Cuba.
Compared to the 2014 fair, the countries with the biggest increase in participants are Panama, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Italy and Germany.
Also seen to be attending the fair for the first time are the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Meanwhile, Spain continues to be the country with the largest exhibition area.
What is also interesting is the attendance of some 25 U.S. companies, something that according to the fair’s organizing committee, shows the interest of U.S. businesspeople in doing business with Cuba, limited only by the blockade.
FIHAV 2015 is also the first edition to be held after Havana was named one of the New Seven Wonder Cities of the World in December 2014, another reason for wanting to visit Expocuba which for 33 consecutive years has been the fair’s traditional headquarters.Share on FB Share on TT