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Getting to know the Havana International Fair

by WhyNotCuba

Official Website

Dates: Nov 4 to Nov 8, 2019

The most important multidisciplinary trade fair in Cuba is the Havana International Fair (FIHAV). This is a weeklong event celebrated every year, to promote commercial products and services from Cuba to the world and to attract foreign inversion to the island. FIHAV has become one of the most important commodities exchanges in Latin America and the Caribbean. Main venue is EXPOCUBA Exhibition Site, located in the outskirts of the capital city, more concretely in the motorway Carretera del Rocío, Km 3 ½, in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo. It lies about 20 km southeast of downtown Havana.

Cuba attracts direct foreign inversion, essential element in the socioeconomic development strategy for the country. Since the abolition of the former law for foreign investment and the passing of a new one (Law 118), many advances have been done to promote the economic interest of the island. A new, improved scenario have been set for trading partners who want to work in Cuba. In 2018, more than 3,000 exhibitors participated in the fair, representing 65 countries.

Currently, the business portfolio amount to 525, to total 11 thousand 609 million dollars. In 2018, new proposals included stockbreeding, industries such as food and light industry, iron and steel, chemical, tourism and mining. The opportunities are spread all over the country, with a considerable number (45 in 2018) in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM). Tourism remains as the area with more opportunities within the portfolio (187). In 2019, amidst Havana 500th anniversary celebrations, the city will be a renewed leisure destination, as stated the Cuban Minister of Tourism in past November.

The goods and services Cuban exportable offer is available in the website of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce and in the promoting centre ProCuba. You can also learn there from the information in matters of regulation, business environment, projects or identifying opportunities for business with foreign investment in Cuba. Entrepreneurs can find information in Spanish and English.

Amongst the goods offer it can be found milk, natural honey, fish and crustacean, coffee, sugar, cacao and its products, beverages, charcoal, pharmaceutical and biotechnological products, leather, fabrics and garments, and medical equipment. Also included in the portfolio, are the professional, property, informatics and communications, postal and courier, and environmental-related services. The complete portfolio of opportunities can be found here.

Awards

The Organizing Committee of the Fair, the Cuban Association of Social Communicators and panels made up of recognized experts award different prizes in the fair. The prize-giving ceremony of 2018 was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.

Gold Medal to the Quality

Products and equipment of Cuba, Germany, Canada, Chile, China, South Korea, Spain, Italy and Russia were awarded in 2018. As a few examples, it can be cited the hot pepper Chile Habanero presented by Empresa Agroindustrial Ceballos; Cohíba Short by Empresa Mixta Internacional Cubana del Tabaco S.A.; and Ron Havana Club Tributo, by Empresa Mixta Havana Club International, in the case of Cuba.

From Germany, the car Mercedes-Benz C180 Cabriolet, by the firm MCV Comercial S.A. was one of the recognized equipment. The Chilean Blen red wine Doña Bernarda de la Viña Luis Felipe Edwards by TJP International S.A. and the Konka TV Dongle for Cuba, by Konka and Guangdong Stationery and Sporting Good Corporation (China) were also awarded. From Italy was commended the construction material Master Seal 528, by Coimpre Srl.

Design Award

In Machinery and Means of transport, the prize went to the product automatic packer machine PQ 80 by Alto Pack Spa from Italy. From Spain was also awarded the printing and digital cut equipment FLABET 250 KNF 50 by Ferpa Graphic SL.

In Products and Equipment: the Television A2 Series LED 55 and LED 65, from the firm Konka; and from Portugal the Double hotel room Wood Projekt Energy, to quote but a few.

Prize of Communication

Visual Communication prices went to the rums Pacto Navío, Tributo, Santísima Trinidad 15 Años and Cubay carta blanca extra old, Habanos Montecristo Line 1935, amongst others. Different prices were awarded in Graphic Communication, Audiovisual and Publics Relations.

Stand and Pavilion Design

Prizes for best Free Design, Modular Stand, Grouping Firms and Best Pavilions went to different enterprises, most of them locals. Havana Club International S.A., the stand of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Russia, Etecsa S.A and the Cuba Pavilion were some of the awarded in these categories.

Hire an area at FIHAV

An official participation in this commercial meeting could be made via sending a Contract Request of Participation form by email. The address will always be displayed in the FIHAV official website. Deadline normally ends in September for every yearly edition. The pavilions are arranged by countries; hence, a space for your stand is allocated depending on the country of origin.

How to subscribe as an investor?

The Investment Forum has been held three times until 2018. This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate bilateral meetings between Cuban businessmen and potential foreign investors. To register in the forum, you can visit the official web page.

Several advantages of investing in Cuba have been identified. With the authorizing of Law No. 118 and its complementary norms, a favourable business scene has been set up in Cuba. A general principle to grant new tax incentives for joint enterprises and parties in international economic association contracts was approved. The Special Taxation Regime has been established in the new regulatory framework for foreign investment. For instance, taxes about profits is 0 % during 8 years (10 years for ZED Mariel) and has an exception for a larger period, subsequently is 15 % (12 % for ZED Mariel) and in reinvested profits is 0 %. For using labour force, taxes are exempt. All of this is according to Law 118. To find more information, visit the ProCuba website.

Other advantages are added to tax incentives and these invite the foreign investors choosing Cuba as investment territory. Some of the advantages are:

  • Formulation of sectorial policies for identifying investment opportunities with foreign capital that permits access to the Cuban market and its consumers.
  • Secure and transparent legal framework.
  • Political, social and legal stability.
  • Geographical location in the centre of an expanding market.
  • Climate of safety for foreign personnel.
  • High indicators for education, social security and health of the population.
  • Highly qualified workforce.
  • International agreements signed by Cuba with the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), the European Union (EU), the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Governmental policy that prioritizes research and technological innovation.
  • Promotional institutions at the service of investors with qualified personnel.
  • Basic infrastructure throughout the country: communications networks; over 20 airports; ports admitting deep-draft vessels; over 95 % of national territory with electrical power; rail and highway communication.

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