The vice-president of the Cuba Chamber of Commerce, Ruben Ramos, has led a 27-strong delegation of Cuban businesses displaying their products at the TT Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) annual Trade and Investment Convention at the Centre of Excellence in Trinidad and Tobago.
The two Caribbean countries are exploring new ways to further boast trade opportunities between the two Caribbean countries.
“There is a commitment from Cuba to develop that relationship with the Caribbean as part of foreign policy for trade and integration in Caricom, (Caribbean Community) Ramos said. “We are working to try to facilitate trade, (whether it is) transportation and trade agreement to reduce tariffs, that will help trade activity between our countries.”
Ramos emphasized that faced with the ongoing, U.S.-imposed economic blockade against Cuba, “we are finding new opportunities with the Caribbean where the business community is opening its doors for Cuba to diversify its export market. We have challenges but opportunity. We know it’s important to diversify the trade relationship despite the unfair blockade against my country by the U.S.”
Cuban participants in the event included companies from sectors including biotech and pharmaceuticals, trade, food and agriculture, energy and petrochemicals, and culture, according to Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
“When (TT exporters) look at the Caribbean, people tend to leave out markets like the Dominican Republic, which has 10.65 million, or Haiti with 10.85 million people, and Cuba with 11.5 million people,” said TTMA president Christopher Alcazar.
“Instead they focus on Barbados, with 300,000 people, or Grenada, with 100,000 people. Sure, it’s easier for us to penetrate there since there’s no language barrier, but we have to be able to go beyond that into these big markets.”