EFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 31 October 2022 — The Havana International Fair (FIHAV) will be attended by Cuban investors residing abroad, especially those based in the United States, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, said on Monday.
In addition to the participation of Cuban-American entrepreneurs – who, for the first time in the 38 editions of the event, will have their own panel. American companies will also attend, something that has already happened in previous years.
The event, the most important commercial exchange in Cuba since its first edition in 1983, will be held from November 14 to 18 at the Expocuba fairgrounds, in the island’s capital.
So far, delegations from more than 60 countries and about 570 companies, 400 of them foreign, have confirmed attendance at Fihav, according to the organizers.
The presence of Cuban investors in the United States is confirmed in the midst of an intensification of relations between the island and the US.
“There is no restriction on the Cuban side, but there has always been a kind of taboo about whether Cubans residing abroad can invest or not in Cuba,” Malmierca said.
He also added that the present edition of the FIHAV is designed “specifically so that they will know better what can be done” and “to give them all the information so that they can do business with Cuba.”
The minister recalled that due to U.S. sanctions on the country, American firms that wish to do business with companies on the Island must ask for permission from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Last week, the Island hosted the Cuba-United States Business Forum, a summit of businesspeople from both countries that had not been held since 2016, during the rapprochement known as the “thaw.”
At that time, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel declared that his Government is open to dialogue with the United States, but on equal terms and with respect for the “sovereignty” and “integrity” of the Island.
“I believe all this confirms that, despite the blockade, the very economic difficulties that Cuba faces, and the situation of the global crisis derived from COVID-19, the world continues to trust the Cuban market,” concluded the head of the Ministry.
During the fair, the V Foreign Investment Forum will be held to present the Portfolio of Business Opportunities.
Also, there will be the presentation of Cuba as the headquarters of the Latin American Integration Association (Aladi).
FIHAV was replaced in 2020 and 2021 by a business forum and a virtual fair. The last edition, in 2019, was attended by more than 4,000 participants from about 55 countries, of which Spain was the most represented with 110 companies, according to official data.
Operating in Cuba are 280 foreign companies from about 40 countries, including Spain, Canada, and China.
The capture of foreign investment is important for the Cuban economy, in the midst of a crisis exacerbated by the tightening of U.S. sanctions and errors in national economic management, among other factors.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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