Prabhu visits Cuba to explore trade, investment opportunities
The Dollar Business Bureau
In order to explore opportunities for bilateral trade and investment in the Latin American (Latam) and Caribbean regions, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu visited Cuba from October 28 to 31.
“The Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu visited Cuba from October 28 to 31 to explore opportunities to tap the huge untapped potential, for not only bilateral trade but also investment in the Latin American and Caribbean regions,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
“It has been the strategy to pursue new markets to expand India's trade footprint and targets to double trade with the Latam and Caricom region in the next 4 to 5 years,” it said.
India’s bilateral trade with the Caribbean region was $1.75 billion in 2016-17, making up just 7.16% of the country’s overall trade with the Latam and Caribbean regions.
“India has always enjoyed a good political relationship with Cuba, with India being one of the first countries to recognise the regime after the Revolution. The visit of the Commerce and Industry Minister was to leverage this age old political relationship to enhance the economic and commercial ties between the two countries,” the statement said.
Prabhu met the top leadership of Cuba including First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez Mario, Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Planning Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Minister of Energy and Mines Alfredo Lopez Valdes, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, and Minister of Industries Salvador Pardo Cruz.
During his visit, a decision was also taken on MoUs in six priority sectors for bilateral trade and investments, between the Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation (FIEO) and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce. These sectors include pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, sugar, infrastructure development, tourism, and bio technology.
Prabhu also attended the inaugural ceremony of the 35th edition of Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2017 – a largest multi-sector trade fair in Cuba, which saw a participation from more than 70 countries. He inaugurated the Indian Pavilion at the Fair, in the presence of Cuban Minister of Energy & Mines.