The creation of the Mariel Special Development Zone and the passing last March of a new Foreign Investment Law means that there are excellent investment opportunities in Cuba. Among the areas of interest, Cuban industry ranks as one of the sectors with the most potential and best opportunities for foreign investors.

Since its inception in 2012 the Cuban Ministry of Industry, which encompasses the iron and steel, chemical, electronic and light industries, has enhanced product quality and developed policies to replace imports, boost exports and ensure that the country’s needs are met.

There is development underway within the Cuban industrial sector of container and packaging manufacture, raw-material waste recycling, the production of electrodomestic and electronic appliances, chemicals and chemical derivatives, medical equipment, textiles, clothing and accessories, hygiene products, perfumes and cosmetics. These advancements could lead to production chains and be strengthened on the basis of foreign investment.

The modernization of steel and iron, iron derivatives, electrodomestic appliances, glass and aluminium drinks and medicine container manufacturing sectors, an increase in metallic structure design and production capacity, the internal management of solid waste and other recyclable materials and various other initiatives to produce consumer goods represent areas of priority for Cuba. The Cuban industrial sector combines more than 86,000 workers and 205 production and service enterprises.

The Havana International Fair (FIHAV for its Spanish initials) is Cuba and the Caribbean’s most important shop window and one of the most representative in Latin America. All sectors of the Cuban economy are represented at this annual event which hosts a most comprehensive domestic and international commercial exhibition in a setting ideal for exhibitors and visitors to establish commercial contacts, close deals, share knowledge and be brought up to date on the most recent technological innovations. The forthcoming FIHAV is therefore the perfect place to get a first hand insight into the range of possibilities that Cuban industry can offer the foreign investor.

The opportunities that exist in the Electronics, Information, Automation and Telecommunications Industry sectors focus on the manufacture of, among others, high efficiency LED lighting, cell phones, PC tablets and optical devices.

Foreign investment in light industry is principally focused, in addition to strengthening exports, on the modernization of existing technology for the development of large scale production to replace imports in areas such as hygiene products, disposable sanitary products, footwear and general wrapping and packaging.

The chemicals industry is seeking investment in bond, newsprint and tissue paper and radial tyre production. Iron and steel industry joint ventures will primarily be aimed at production, recycling, mechanization, automotive activity and agricultural related equipment.

Investments in iron, container or more complex agricultural or transport related equipment are of priority. So are alliances with foreign entities in lines such as large and specialized stainless steel products, the manufacture and sale of car batteries and UPS (Unimterrupted Power System), aluminium containers, metal structures and systems for the integral management of urban solid waste material.

The Ministry of Industry expects affirmative expressions of interest from foreign companies regarding investments in key sectors such as container manufacture and other important areas, including the agroindustrial, chemical and iron and steel industries.

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