The 32nd edition of Havana’s International Trade Fair, FIHAV 2015, which was attended by 2000 businesspeople from more than 70 countries, with an exhibition area of 22,700 square meters, was rated as an extraordinary event by important figures attending the fair in the Cuban capital.
The Vice President of Cuba’s Council of Ministers, Ricardo Cabrisas, and Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca commented that this year’s edition welcomed another ten participating countries and covered 2,000 square meters more than in 2014.
This time dedicated to promote Cuban exports, FIHAV 2015 (November 2 to 7) has just become the largest such fair held in Cuba over the past 15 years. Its most important new features included the launch of the second version of the portfolio with foreign investment projects and Cuba’s Business Directory.
The expanded business portfolio comprises 12 sectors and 326 projects -80 more than the one announced at FIHAV 2014- and with a capital of some $8 billion, very similar to the amount set for the previous portfolio.
Of the 326 projects, 94 are intended for tourism, 86 for the oil field, 40 for the agri-food sector, 21 for industry and the rest chiefly for mining, biotechnology and medicine, health, sport and construction, with a considerable number of them to be implemented at the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM).
Meanwhile, the launch of the Business Directory of the Republic of Cuba (2015-2017) aroused great interest among the participants and was considered very useful both for businesspeople already with a participation in the Cuban market and future investors.
The directory classifies all the Cuban services and products and has the acronyms for the Cuban companies, for the Organizations of the Central Administration of the State and for the Higher Organizations of Business Management (OSDE in Spanish), as well as the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of company managers, websites and other necessary information.
More than 570 foreign companies and 365 Cubans were represented at FIHAV 2015, with a noticeable presence at the ZDEM office, which has already approved eight projects related to the transport, logistics, electronics, chemistry and food sectors, generating at least 1,370 jobs and with a total investment of $615.2 million.
Of those eight projects, five have 100 percent foreign capital and the remaining three are connected to Brascuba, a Cuban-Brazilian cigarette joint venture, the Cuban company providing logistic services at the Mariel Special Development Zone, and the administration contract for Singapore’s PSA Company.
The ZEDM director for Coordination of Procedures, Wendy Miranda, explained that two of those five projects are for the meat processing company Richmeat and the paint production company Devox Caribe, both from Mexico, while two others are for Belgium’s BDC company and the last one for Spain’s ProFood company which produces food and beverages.
Among the results of the fair features a bilateral agreement between Cuba and the Spanish Credit Insurance Company for paying off a debt resulting from insured short-term export operations.
Similarly, a memorandum of understanding was reached among the corresponding ministries for economic cooperation, and two others in the fields of energy, tourism, industry, renewable energy and small and middle-size enterprises.
Also noteworthy is the action plan signed by the Cuba-Russia Business Committee (which held its 8th session during the fair) and by the Cuba-Russia Working Group for Foreign Trade and Priority Projects.
In addition, Cuba signed a cooperation agreement with Belgium for the management and preservation of cultural heritage, as well as several documents for cooperation between the Chambers of Commerce of Cuba and Haiti and between Cuba’s Chamber of Commerce and the Volusia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,
Florida, United States.
Cooperation agreements were also signed with the Sao Paulo Federation of Industries and Businesspeople, as well as others for promoting trade and investment between Procuba and similar companies from Ecuador, Peru, Chile, the Dominican Republic and Vietnam.
The fair also included business rounds with Caribbean companies, business forums between Cuba and South Africa, Vietnam and Poland, a European Union-Cuba business and investment conference, the first meeting of the Cuba-
US Business Council and meetings with the negotiating commission for the Economic Complementation Agreement with Colombia and also with the commission from Ecuador.
In his closing remarks, Cabrisas highlighted that the large participation and magnitude of the fair are indicative of a promising future for the development of Cuba’s foreign relations.
These results from the fair when put into the context marked by a 4.7 percent increase of the Gross Domestic Product in the first semester of this year, give an estimate of a further increase of 4% by the end of 2015, Malmierca said during the inauguration of the fair.Share on FB Share on TT