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ExpoCaribe: Cuba promueve las exportaciones e inversiones.

Cuba's Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz on Friday reiterated his country's political will to expand economic relations with foreign countries through foreign direct investment and cooperation. He said this during the presentation of the investment portfolio at the ExpoCaribe international trade fair in Santiago de Cuba, Cuban news agency Prensa Latina reported.

Malmierca underscored the greater diversification and participation of the private sector, which already has more than 3,500 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises authorized, which have created more than 60,000 jobs, while state-owned enterprises are being strengthened as the cornerstone of the Cuban economy. The minister cited food production, renewable energy, production chains, diversity of exports, new markets and efficiency in substituting exports as priority objectives.

Cuba offers many advantages to foreign investors, Malmierca said, including the updating of general and sectoral policies, the guarantee of foreign capital in a constant process of readjustment of the regulatory framework and the creation of the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZED). He pointed out that more than 50 companies are currently located in the ZED on the outskirts of Havana. He also cited Cuba's privileged geographic location, the presence of human capital with high professional training, the operation of more than 20 universities and research centers, and promising scientific potential as other advantages.

In his opening speech the day before, Malmierca had stressed the importance of the trade exchange for Cuba and the Caribbean. After the Havana International Fair (FIHAV), ExpoCaribe is Cuba's second most important international trade fair. "You are coming to a country that is working hard to move forward and is confident about the future," he told the foreign guests. A total of 25 countries are participating in the meeting, including African countries such as Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, or Asian countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, in addition to countries from the Caribbean region. From Europe, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the European Union are represented. The XVII edition of ExpoCaribe is being held under special circumstances this year; Cuba and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their joint relations.

From the Cuban side, some 250 companies will be present at the fair to exhibit their products and services, establish contacts with foreign partners and take their economic and trade relations to a new level. Cuba wants to promote its exportable goods and import substitution at ExpoCaribe, Malmierca said, affirming that the fair is a place to attract foreign investment, especially to the east of the country.

The minister also confirmed that this year, after a two-year hiatus, the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) will return as a presence event from November 14 to 18, 2022.