Wed | Dec 19, 2018

Growth & Jobs | JAMPRO trade mission penetrates Cuban market

Published:Tuesday | November 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM
A Jamaican company meets with attendees at The Havana International Fair.
A representative from Caribbean Flavours and Fragrances (right) speaks with attendees at The Havana International Fair.
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To support the agency's market development strategy and market penetration efforts in Cuba, the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) led a trade mission to the Havana International Fair (FIHAV).

The fair, which was held from October 29 to November 4, is the largest annual multisector trade fair in Cuba, and is organised by the Cuban government and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce.

The mission, which included 10 Jamaican companies, sought to increase exports to the Cuban market and build business relationships with officials in the island. JAMPRO's interest in the Cuban economy is as a result of the country's expanding services sector, which is in need of products to support the rising demand for goods related to the services boom.

As Cuba has a centralised purchasing system through its government, FIHAV is viewed as a key negotiation centre for companies interested in entering the market. Relationship building is critical in doing business with Cuba, and the Jamaican delegation used the opportunity to deepen the relationship between both countries.

JAMPRO aims to get more companies in the Cuban market through this platform, and some of Jamaica's exporters have already secured orders, with others currently in negotiations.

 

Gateways to Cuba

 

The agency has been working continuously with its local and Cuban partners to build more gateways to the Cuban market. This includes attendance at FIHAV, the hosting of Cuban inward missions, forums to educate local exporters on the process to export to Cuba, and working with an in-market broker in Cuba.

Speaking of these inward missions and other efforts, JAMPRO President Diane Edwards said, "JAMPRO has invested a lot of energy in this market, as we believe in the potential that exists for significant exports of Jamaican products to Cuba. Jamaica and Cuba have close historical ties, and since we are close to each other in location, shipping expenses can be relatively cheaper and shipments more frequent."

Edwards noted: "We believe that if we continue on this path, and connect the right companies to the market, more Jamaican companies will have access to Cuba and we will begin to see the creation of an export market that would be superb for the Jamaican economy. The feedback from the recent trade delegation has been excellent so far, and we look forward to more success as a result of this mission."