Mingo returns from Cuban business expoPOSTED: 11/6/15 9:11 PM
St. Maarten – A delegation from Port St. Maarten headed by Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo, concluded a visit to Cuba after attending the FIHAV 2015 Havana International Fair.
FIHAV 2015 opened on Monday at the Expocuba Fairgrounds in the islands capital city, Havana. It attracted more than 4,500 domestic and foreign exhibitors from over 60 countries and over 150,000 visitors.
The Havana International Fair is the largest annual multi-sector trade fair in Cuba; it concludes tomorrow.
Port St. Maarten had its own pavilion booth. The ports interests in attending FIHAV 2015 came at the invitation extended by the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador to Cuba Norbert W.M. Braakhuis.
In September a delegation from Port St. Maarten met with Ambassador Braakhuis and officials from the Sint Maarten Department of Foreign Relations in Pointe Blanche where the upcoming fair was discussed. Ambassador Braakhuis was impressed with Port St. Maarten’s development in cruise, cargo, yachting and real estate.
At the fair the following sectors were on display: Agriculture and Processed Foods; Automotive; Chemicals; Consumer Products; Defense and Security; Education; Fish and Seafood; Forestry and Wood Products; Industrial Machinery; Information and Communications Technologies; Infrastructure; Life Sciences; Mining; Ocean Technologies; Oil and Gas; Sustainable Technologies; Transportation; Wine, Beer and Spirits.
The port delegation made various contacts with representatives from various Cuban ports APNACIONAL; the Cuban Chamber of Commerce; European Union Cuban delegation; Caribex Export and Import Fisheries; and the First Secretary/Regional Envoy for the Caribbean, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela.
“This was the first fact finding mission in cooperation with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. We visited one of their ports to get a first impression of their infrastructure. There are many opportunities and possibilities. The country has a lot of potential,” Mingo said. “One sure thing, Cuba has developed its cultural heritage and has invested heavily in this area. The country will be a huge Caribbean destination, drawing more visitors to the Caribbean, and therefore, we need to invest more in showcasing our heritage.”
Businesses participating in FIHAV 2015 see their participation at the aforementioned fair as an entry-strategy as Cuban businesses often on an informal basis approach companies individually; the growth potential of Cuba, the fair allows companies to strengthen existing contacts and establish new ones.
Cuba is seen as a market with immense potential and companies and countries from North/South America, Europe and Asia are aggressively pursuing unique market opportunities. FIHAV 2015 allows businesses to get a foot into the door and start developing key relationships with Cuban buyers.
This is the 33rd anniversary of the fair. In 2014 it welcomed more than 1,000 companies from 82 countries. The pavilion grounds, inaugurated in 1989, consist of 25 separate buildings.