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Foreign Investment in Cuba

FIHAV 2023

FIHAV-2023

Attending the FIHAV 2023:

The Havana International Fair (FIHAV), held every November in Cuba, is the largest and most important trade fair of the Latin American-Caribbean region.

This year’s 39th edition opens November 6 and runs until the 11.

The FIHAV is the most prestigious multi-sector business event in the region. It provides a convenient meeting point for international corporations and Cuban businesses. It is the place for introductions and information gathering.

There are many good reasons to attend FIHAV. For business, it has been a proven entry strategy into Cuba. Additionally, it is important to note that Cuban buyers consider attendance a key part of the pre-selection process. For this reason, exhibiting in a pavilion establishes both your brand reputation and a level of endorsement by your government. It is a proven growth strategy for international companies. A business presence can result in finalized contracts in as little as six to 12 months.

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Within the framework of FIHAV, the fifth Foreign Investment Forum, sponsored by the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, takes place. Meetings between investors can move the process forward.

The Foreign Investment Forum includes presentations by Minister Rodrigo Malmierca and Ana Teresa Igarza, the Director General of the Mariel Special Development Zone, and other experts will share their investment experiences with Cuba.

To participate, visit the official page for the Foreign Investment Forum here.

FIHAV is also where Cuba launches its latest foreign investment portfolio. For the last several years, the portfolio has been online and can be viewed at https://inviertaencuba.mincex.gob.cu/en/. The investment portfolio of 2022 contains 708 projects throughout the provinces of the island.

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The projects in the portfolio have been examined to determine feasibility and affordability, and in some cases, the return on investment projection. There are also projects still on the drawing board awaiting feasibility study completion. Cuba is also open to other investment ideas not yet considered. The projects included in the annual portfolio are those set for fast tracking.

Normally, business in Cuba needs to be undertaken with a Cuban partner, but some portfolio projects are seeking 100% foreign financing, and presumably, the foreign partner’s profits and ownership would be negotiable. Others are jointly funded.

Over 60 countries, 20 official delegations, and 30 chambers of commerce were present at FIHAV 2022.

Approximately 900 international corporations showed up last year. The central pavilion housed over 350 Cuban companies. Spain typically has the largest presence, with four pavilions. Other countries participating included Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Curaçao, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and others. These countries are already well-positioned with Cuba in existing bilateral relationships and businesses on the island.

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Spain at FIHAV
Spain at the FIHAV

In the opening day speeches last November, the Minister of Foreign Trade, Rodrigo Malmierca, said, “This entire process has aroused international interest.’’

Indeed, it has.

Who’s Attending FIHAV 2023?

Not only are the state enterprises present, but there will also be joint venture companies, agricultural cooperatives, and the private business sector identified as having export potential.

Also, there is a pavilion for Cubans living abroad who have business relations or are in the process of establishing a business with Cuba.

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This year’s numbers are expected to be constant as many countries are still pursuing relations with Cuba in spite of the U.S. embargo.

Some of Cuba’s most recognizable companies will be there throughout the pavilions: CUPET, ZED Mariel, BioCubaPharma, Heber Biotech, BrasCuba, Habanos SA, CIEGO Montero, Confihar, Castrol Cuba and more.

List of Industry Sectors at the FIHAV:

  • Agro Industry and its by products
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Construction
  • Food Production
  • Fisheries and seafood
  • Ocean Technologies
  • Wine, Beer, and Spirits
  • Consumer Products
  • Real Estate
  • Oil and Gas
  • Energy
  • Mining
  • Culture
  • Professional Services
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Transportation
  • Water and Sanitation Networks
  • Education
  • Life Sciences
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Forestry and Wood Products
  • Information Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications and Info Technology
  • Health Tourism
  • Tourism

If you intend to do business in Cuba, don’t miss the FIHAV. Attendance at the FIHAV trade fair is a prerequisite for those who wish to expand into the Cuban market. Booth spaces within the pavilions can be booked through the commercial office of your embassy. Your country’s embassy can provide you with a price list for exhibition in their pavilion.

Cuba has immense market potential, but access to these markets requires a presence. Cubans consider business relationships essential. The FIHAV presents an opportunity to network with the key players in the Cuban market.

Americans can attend the conferences with a specific license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

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FIHAV 2023, at the ExpoCuba fairgrounds, is located on the Carretera del Rocio, Km 3 ½, in the Arroyo Naranjo municipality, about 25 km southeast of Havana’s center.

For more information on FIHAV 2023, visit the official site of the Havana International Fair here.

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