Castries, Saint Lucia November 10, 2014 – On invitation from the Government of Cuba the Honorable Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, Emma Hippolyte attended The Feria Internacional de La Habana, 32nd Havana International Fair (FIHAV) held from November 2 to 8, 2014 in Cuba. Ms. Andrena Simon, Promotion & Marketing Officer at Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) accompanied the Minister on the mission.
The Event was a multi-sectorial Fair where the sectors on display consisted of consumer goods; machinery, equipment, technology; raw materials and services and brought together Cuban and foreign entrepreneurs from more than 60 countries.
The Minister took the opportunity to deepen existing bi-lateral relations with Cuba and examined future actions to be developed between St. Lucia and Cuba. A number of meetings were held with key stakeholders to access marketing information and identify opportunities for business and trade with Cuba.
The fair also presented a new opportunity for reinforcing the CARICOM-Cuba relationship. The recent passing of a New Foreign Investment Law in Cuba has created a favorable environment for developing economic ties between St. Lucia and by extension the Caribbean and the world.
TEPA has been working arduously to introduce Saint Lucian products in a systematic and structured manner into Cuba and this has involved working closely with Dr. Charles Isaac, Saint Lucia Ambassador in Cuba. As a result, TEPA has successfully introduced a range of Saint Lucian manufactured products in the Cuban market.
This year’s trade event allowed the TEPA to present a selection of other products to major buyers in the market for potential export opportunities.
The Governments of Saint Lucia and Cuba have decided to deepen their trading arrangements further by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to that effect in the near future. By pursuing such an initiative, TEPA and exporters will remain up to date on the evolving trade environment in Cuba and be informed of emerging trade opportunities.
“The Government of St. Lucia is pleased that relations between the two countries continue to strengthen and manifest into economic and trade opportunities.” says Honorable Minister Emma Hippolyte.