The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has supported the largest contingent of Caribbean firms to participate at the 33rd edition of the Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV) from November 2-7, 2015, as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme and Haiti-Dominican Republic Binational Programme of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
A total of twenty-five (25) companies from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname, as well as Business Support Organisation – JAMPRO collectively participated at the Caribbean Export pavilion presenting their products and services to buyers with the view to increasing exports in to the Cuban market. Within the 20,000 square meters of exhibition space buyers were able to meet with some of the best Caribbean producers of cosmetics, health and wellness products; agro-processors that produce sauces, condiments, cereals, biscuits beverages; and manufacturers of plastics and other industrial products. After the five-day event there have already been reports from some participating firms of successful negotiations for new business.
Cuba is often overlooked as an export market for many producers from the English-speaking Caribbean, not only because of the language but also lack of knowledge as to how to do business with Cuba. Over the past five years however, Caribbean Export has support some 52 firms from eight CARIFORUM States to attend FIHAV. On this occasion the government trade promotion office, Centro de Exportación e Inversión de la República Dominicana (CEI-RD), the Federation of Dominican Chambers of Commerce (FEDOCAMARAS), and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Haiti (CCIH) were supported and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba, with the objective to increase the collaboration and regional integration of the respective countries. In addition with the newly established relationships between the organisations greater collaboration is expected in the promotion of key market sectors for export.