Cuba Responds to US Blockade by Expanding Markets

Panama - Expanding markets, identifying new niches and diversifying exports amidst the ongoing US blockade is a priority for Cuba at present, Vice President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce Ruben Ramos pointed out.

In the framework of the 37th edition of EXPOCOMER, a trade fair recently held in Panama, the official spoke to The Havana Reporter about the current situation in the region and the US government's decision to intensify the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba.

'In sight of this reality, we must look for new opportunities and markets to incorporate our products and increase our country Ìüs profits to guarantee its economic development; thus the presence of Cuban enterprises at this event,' he said.

He also commented that the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act is not only aimed at making the country surrender due to economic asphyxia and persecution, but also at intimidating international companies that want to invest in the island, that is why we must create new opportunities, he added.

'In this unfortunate scenario, we cannot adopt a passive stance; on the contrary, we must show the world that we have the conditions to foster our economic development through foreign investment,trade and exports,' he stressed.

Ramos highlighted that in spite of the US government's aggression, 'Cuba is a safe market for investment, as no extraterritorial measure will be permitted, especially against businesses present in our country.

'The vice president of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce also provided details about the meetings with Panamanian authorities, which he described as positive.In those meetings, both sides discussed topics of common interest and the role of the Entrepreneurial Committee 'created in 2018' in Havana's International Trade Fair.

The countries also discussed the promotion of the Economic Implementation Agreement, which permits the reduction of import-related taxes and the possibility to increase investments, among other topics related to bilateral economic collaboration.

Ramos explained that the Cuba-Panama Entrepreneurial Committee, whose first meeting took place in the Panamanian capital, paves the ground for exchange, trade and investment between both countries.

'In the framework of EXPOCOMER, Cuban executives and their counterparts held negotiations in which they agreed to bilateral meetings following the identification of real possibilities that can lead to other agreements,' the official noted.

He recalled that at present, Cuba places special emphasis on the export of goods and services; for that reason, the country's delegation was made up of 30 companies from different sectors, the most important related to the production, processing and export of food.

Over 600 companies from Latin America,Europe,Asia and Africa attended this trade event,which is Panama and Central America's most important fair.Agreements in food production,textile and high-tech industries were signed.

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