Confidence in Cuban
• 3,000 exhibitors from 60
countries • Economic growth
for 2011 estimated at 2.9%
WITH the maxim of promoting Cuba’s
economic relations with the rest of the world, the
29th Havana Trade Fair opened November 1 with the
participation of 1,500 companies and 3,000 business
executives from 60 countries, in its traditional
As Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, Cuban
Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment
noted during the Fair’s inauguration, "The broad
presence of foreign business executives is a
reflection of their confidence in our country and
the existing potential for undertaking mutually
advantageous joint ventures."
Malmierca announced that the Cuban
economy grew by 1.9% in the first half of 2011 and
its end of year growth is estimated to reach 2.9%.
Cuba’s principal trading partners
(Spain, Venezuela, China and Canada) had a large
representation in this edition. Also significant was
the participation of Latin America nations, 16 in
total, among which various member countries of the
Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our
America (ALBA) stood out.
A session was organized for
participants in this regional bloc on the Single
Regional Payment Compensation System (SUCRE), in
addition to business meetings and a negotiating
The six-day Trade Fair served as a
framework for business agreements, the signing of
contracts and talks with the island’s principal
partners directed at strengthening trade links and
demonstrating Cuba’s commercial opportunities.
The opening ceremony of Cuba’s
largest trade fair was attended by Ricardo Cabrisas
Ruiz, vice president of the Council of Ministers;
René Mesa Villafaña, minister of construction;
Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz; Abraham
Maciques Maciques, president of the Fair’s
organizing committee; and Estrella Madrigal Valdés,
president of the Chamber of Commerce.
SPAIN: MOST REPRESENTED COUNTRY
Spanish Day took place during the
event’s first session. This year, this country
increased its exhibition area to 2,900 square meters
and dedicated its two pavilions to energy,
chemistry, sport and tourism.
Grouped together by Spain’s
Institute of Foreign Trade, 120 companies from that
country had a presence at the Fair, exhibiting a
varied range of products among which construction
materials, foodstuffs, and consumer goods and
services were prominent.
Antonio Luis Carricarte, Cuban
deputy minister of foreign trade, noted the presence
of 40 new Spanish companies, "which illustrates
Spanish business executives’ confidence in and
expectations of the Cuban market."
As Manuel Cacho, Spanish ambassador
to Cuba, stated, his country’s strong participation
in the event is a demonstration of the constant
interest of Spanish enterprises in the development
of the Cuban economy.
The Fair, Cacho affirmed, is an
occasion for Spanish companies to seek and create
new opportunities for cooperating with Cuban
In 2010, trade between Spain and
Cuba reached 719 million euros and the island was
Spain’s fifth client in Latin America. Spain
continues to be Cuba’s first client within the
Beyond the framework, of FIHAV, more
than 200 branches of Spanish companies have a
presence in Cuba and more than 50 joint ventures are
operating on the island.
CUBA PROMOTING HEALTH SERVICES
Around 350 Cuban enterprises from
all industries took part in FIHAV 2011 with an
increased presence, quality and competitiveness. The
Cuban exhibition area covered 5,000 square meters,
with a notable input from the services sector:
health, technology and medical equipment, as well as
informatics and communications.
The health sector had the strongest
promotion with biotechnological products, generic
medicaments, monoclonal antibodies and the Labiofam
As part of its policy of increasing
exports, the island is designing a strategy for the
export of innovative products for treating health
problems and promoting agreements to gradually
replace imports of spare parts.