Havana’s International Trade Fair opened November 4, with over 3,000 exhibitors from some 60 countries attending. For the first time, the Cuban participation also included representatives of the emerging private sector of the economy.
CGTN’s Luis Chirino reports.
Two non-state cooperatives are exhibiting their products at the fair, proving how the private initiative can help contribute to the country’s economy.
Decorarte cooperative, a business dedicated to décor designs, children’s toys and furniture, among other products, signed a deal during the fair with the German company Profuemed through a state-owned export enterprise to put children’s educational toys on the European market.
Following the signing ceremony, the Profuemed representative for Cuba Marco Heinrich stressed the quality and nature of the Cuban products by noting that while “in a world where all children toys are related to violence and weapons, like videogames, this is the first time they find a cooperative here producing high-quality didactic toys, with great prospects and prosperous future for the world.”
Meanwhile, Laura Santana, who is Decorarte’s Marketing Specialist said that they are very happy to see that their toys, which represent the Cuban identity, reach the European market through the German company.
Achieving bilateral trade deals and attracting foreign investment are the key objectives of this trade fair. However, according to Cuban Foreign Trade and Investment Minister, Rodrigo Malmierca the most recent U.S. measures are aimed at scaring away potential investors and thwarting new business projects on the island.
“Foreign investors with businesses in Cuba have been threatened and some of them have been sued at U.S. courts. This situation has forced us to strengthen legal protection and support for foreign companies operating in our country, ” the minister said in his opening speech of the trade fair before foreign entrepreneurs and guests to the event.
Cuban authorities have considered the large foreign participation at this 37th trade fair as a proof of the permanent interest of the world business community in the Cuban market.