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TTC Special: Cuban trade fair; Special invitation to foreign investors


By F. Martin

TTC Service.- The International Fair of Havana (FIHAV 2016) in Cuba which began today in Havana, it is a good opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs to meet the new Cuban offers and an excellent time for the Caribbean island to start a new relationships with markets worldwide.

A few hours before the Cuban most important annual trade fair opened its doors, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, told reporters that the third upgrade of its business portfolio includes a higher number of projects from economic sectors “prioritized”.

According to Malmierca, the trade fair from October 31 to November 4 in Havana “seeks to continue boosting foreign investment and diversify the island’s economic relations to the maximum”. As part of the fair will take place business meetings, the presentation of projects for the export of national goods and services, lectures, and the first forum on investment, on November 1 and 2.

According to Cuban analysis, the Island is seeking $8.2 billion of foreign investment in 326 projects. The third upgrade of its business portfolio to be released in Fihav 2016, includes a higher number of projects from economic sectors “prioritized”, as healthcare, tourism, transportation, construction, agriculture, the oil industry and renewable energy.

The projects are part of Cuba’s attempt to bring in at least $2 billion in foreign direct investment a year.  The Cuban tourism industry earns a hefty $3 billion in annual revenues from 3.5 million visitors. The official plan is tripling the number of hotel rooms over 15 years, building capacity for up to 10 million tourists and annual revenues of over $9 billion.

Cuba seeks to diversify its economy, especially the tourism industry. The government’s priority is the diversification of export markets and services to support Cuba’s socio-economic development. Some 68 percent of the Cuban exports are provided by health and tourism, with the possibility of adding computer services, communications, education, and sports services.

“Under no circumstance, even without the embargo, do we want to go back to being dependent on one market,” said a year ago Malmierca.

With 75 countries confirmed to attend, the 34th edition of the Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV 2016) is set to be the biggest to date. The Cuban pavilion will measure 5,000 square meters and feature 125 exhibitors, representing 325 enterprises.