Top officials during the meeting.
At the invitation of the Cuban government, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy (MoE), visited the Havana International Fair 2022 in the Republic of Cuba.
The visit was aimed at exploring opportunities for cooperation and establishing new economic partnerships between the UAE and Caribbean business communities in various investment and trade sectors such as energy, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, transportation, communications, information technology, and health.
During the visit, Bin Touq met with several ministers from the Caribbean nations to discuss mechanisms to enhance economic and trade cooperation, and agreed on new action plans and programmes that can help achieve this goal.
The Minister of Economy said: “Caribbean countries are a promising destination for investment and trade as they offer diverse economic opportunities.”
“Therefore, the UAE is keen to develop partnerships with this region’s business community and promote business and investment exchanges in a way that supports the development aspirations of both sides.”
He added: “Our visit contributed to apprising the Caribbean private sector of the numerous economic initiatives that were recently launched by the UAE in line with its wise leadership’s vision for the future, most notably the Projects of the 50, including the Investopia Summit and the Comprehensive Economic Partnerships Agreements programme.”
“In addition, the comprehensive development of the economic legislation in the UAE was highlighted, including the granting of 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, flexible tax policies, and facilitation of business set up processes in a way that cements the country’s position as a global hub for trade and investment.”
Furthermore, Bin Touq called on the Caribbean business community to capitalise on the incentives and investment opportunities offered by the UAE’s business and investment environment in various economic and trade sectors, especially the sectors of the new economy, real estate, energy, renewable energy, financial activities, insurance, and tourism.
In addition, Dr Badr Abdullah Al Matroushi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, confirmed that the bilateral relations between the UAE and Cuba go back several years and is unique thanks to strong cooperation in various fields. He also underlined Investopia’s prominent role in supporting climate action in the Caribbean countries, ensuring them sustainable and healthier economies in the future.
Bin Touq held a series of bilateral meetings with several ministers in the Cuban government, most notably Betsy Diaz, Minister of Internal Trade; Alejandro Fernandez, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning; Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, apart from meetings with private sector representatives.
The non-oil trade exchange between the UAE and the Caribbean market totaled nearly Dhs422 million in 2021, while the total volume of UAE’s non-oil exports to the region amounted to nearly Dhs90 million. Besides, UAE’s re-exports to the Caribbean countries amounted to Dhs174 million in 2021 recording a 2 per cent growth compared to 2020, while Caribbean imports to the UAE grew by 29 per cent, totaling Dhs158 million in 2021.
The 38th edition of the Havana International Fair, FIHAV 2022, Cuba’s major trade and exhibition event, brings together more than 60 countries at the Expocuba fairgrounds this Monday.
Top-level delegations headed by ministers, high-level government officials, entrepreneurs, and other foreign actors from nations such as China, Russia, Spain, France, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, and Laos attended the fair until yesterday (Friday).
About 400 Cuban state-owned companies, more than 70 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and three non-agricultural cooperatives strengthened links. They explored trade and foreign investment opportunities in all sectors of economy.
Representatives of nine entities of the United States as exhibitors and another large group of US economic actors and prominent figures are also participated in FIHAV 2022.
Delegations from some 35 foreign chambers of commerce at different levels (sectoral, regional, national, and associations) signed three trade agreements, such as those with Rwanda, Uganda, and Russia Business.
The 5th Investment Forum also took place within the framework of FIHAV 2022.
The head of Foreign Trade and Investment of Cuba, Rodrigo Malmierca, highlighted the economic difficulties that Cuba is facing and the situation of international economic crisis derived from the Covid-19 pandemic. The minister also highlighted the materialisation of the Fifth Business Forum dedicated to foreign investment issues.