Over 60 int'l businesses to attend Cuban trade fair
HAVANA, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- More than 60 companies from around the world are set to attend the Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV 2018) to be held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, government officials announced Tuesday.
Foreign Trade and Investments Minister Rodrigo Malmierca told state daily Granma, that some 20 high-level official delegations, 30 chambers of commerce and over 2,500 foreign representatives have confirmed their participation to attend the trade fair.
According to Malmierca, 16 U.S. companies will also be attending, a similar number to the previous edition, including the newly created U.S.-Cuba biotechnology joint venture, Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A., which is based in Cuba's Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) and mainly for the production of therapeutic anti-cancer vaccines.
Malmeirca said that the fair's attendees show that "the world supports Cuba despite the U.S. economic, trade and financial blockade," recently reinforced by U.S. President Trump.
The Russia-Latin American and the Caribbean Business Forum will also be held during the event and will offer the updated portfolio 2018 of investment opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs, according to the official.
According to official estimates, the Caribbean nation needs to attract every year at least 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in investments to keep a sustained development. In the fair last year, Cuba presented a portfolio of 456 projects, amounting to 10.7 billion U.S. dollars.
Aside from international companies, Cuban companies are also set to have a large presence at this year's trade event.
According to president of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce Orlando Hernandez, 350 national companies have reserved 5,000 square meters in floor space for their exhibition.
The Havana International Trade Fair is considered as the most important business forum in Cuba and one of the most important in Latin America and the Caribbean.