SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Caribbean Export has successfully organised the participation of five CARIFORUM countries (The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St Lucia) in the 30th edition of the Havana International Fair in Cuba (FIHAV) taking place from November 4-10, 2012.
A total of 15 CARIFORUM companies participated in this event and showcased their products at the most important fair in Cuba and one of the most important events in the region, which hosts 59 countries exhibiting in 18,608 m2 of exhibition space covering a wide variety of products and services.
The involvement of these companies was made possible via the close collaboration between Caribbean Export, Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), the Dominican Republic Export and Investment Centre (CEI-RD) and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce and with the support of the European Union in the framework of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme.
The Caribbean Delegation was led by Ambassador Colin Murdoch, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Antigua and Barbuda and chairperson of the board of directors at Caribbean Export. Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique also participated demonstrating the great interest of the wider Caribbean in this important trade exhibition leading Murdoch to express that “for the next edition of FIHAV in 2013 Caribbean Export hopes to be able to host a joint Caribbean pavilion in which all 15 CARIFORUM states will be able to participate alongside the French, Dutch and British regions and territories in the Caribbean with a view to showcasing the quality and variety of the products manufactured in the region”.
The programme of activities included a workshop on how to export to Cuba, business to business meetings and a common Caribbean stand at the Fair.
In the framework of FIHAV, Caribbean Export and the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that seeks to enhance the collaboration of both institutions to promote trade and investment with the wider Caribbean region.
Murdoch stated that this MOU “signalled an end and a beginning. The end of arduous work and negotiations between the parties which had enabled, among others, the successful joint participation of CARIFORUM states in FIHAV and the beginning of a new era of collaboration and prosperity between the biggest island in the Caribbean and its CARIFORUM brothers”.
President of the Cuban Chamber, Estrella Madrigal Valdez, emphasised, “We Caribbean countries share the same sun, sea, air and cultural heritage and that the partnership with Caribbean Export in the framework of the MOU was an excellent vehicle to promote enhanced collaboration leading to greater trade and investment amongst sister nations.”