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Foreign Investment in Cuba

FIHAV 2016 – Bigger and Better Than Ever

At last year's FIHAV, approaching the ExpoCuba fairgrounds. Photo: Cuba Business Report staff

At a press conference on Tuesday Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, said FIHAV 2016 is going to be bigger and better than ever this year.  This year’s FIHAV starts October 31st and runs until November 4th at the ExpoCuba fairgrounds on the outskirts of Havana.

The Havana International Trade Fair takes place every November.  It’s been running for the last 34 years.  It is the largest and most important trade fair in the Latin American region. Responding to increased demand for exhibition space, the fairground area has been expanded this year to cover 18,400 square meters.

The FIHAV 2016 will be bigger and better this year because there has been an increase in the number of countries that will take part.  Mr. Malmierca stated, “This year’s trade and business fair will show the trust and consolidation that foreign investors have in the Cuban market, through the participation of companies from 75 countries (11 more than last year) and 15 high-level delegations, including ministers.”

Also taking part in the FIHAV 2016 are representatives from 67 Chambers of Commerce offices from around the world which points to increasing global confidence in the Cuban market.

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Orlando Hernández, President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, said that 325 Cuban businesses seeking to export their products to foreign markets will also exhibit at FIHAV 2016.

Mr. Malmierca also explained that Cuba has added the largest number of new projects for foreign investment with proposals in the tourism, renewable energy, oil exploration, food imports and nickel mining sectors.  The updated third portfolio of businesses opportunities will be launched at this year’s fair.

However some of the investment opportunities were removed from the portfolio because the projects are already under negotiation and deals will soon be finalized.

Also significant is the increase in presence at the trade fair of Cuba’s already existing trade relationships, (China, Spain, Venezuela, Italy and France).  “Our main business and trade partners will have greater representation at this year’s fair, a sign that our market is one of the most important in the region,” the Minister said.

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A new event at the FIHAV this year is the Cuban Business Opportunity forum to be inaugurated by Malmierca.  The Business Opportunity forum offers the chance for business people to get information on the foreign investment opportunities and find out how to network with local partners.

The Minister said of the Forum, it’s is “a real opportunity to nail down important trade deals for Cuba and to increase future foreign investment in the island.”

Representatives from the Special Economic Development Zone of Mariel (ZEDM) will also occupy a booth at the trade fair to explain opportunities for investors at the Port of Mariel.

Another reason this year’s FIHAV is bigger and better than ever before is that Cuba’s biggest trade partners, Spain, China, Russia, Venezuela, Italy, France and Japan will have larger pavilions than last year.  Appearing for the first time at FIHAV are the nations of Ethiopia, Gabon and Tanzania.  Confidence in the Cuban market and doing business with the country is growing and nothing shows it more than Havana’s FIHAV trade fair.

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