Cuba and Curaçao to strengthen links at FIHAV, says minister
WILLEMSTAD, HAVANA - The participation of Curaçao, for the first time, in the Havana International Fair FIHAV 2015 will be a bright opportunity to strengthen the links with Cuba, said Minister of Economy Stanley Palm.
Short before leaving for Havana with a business delegation to show goods and services from Curaçao at FIHAV, Palm referred to the existing relations between the peoples of the two nations.
There is a familiar, cultural relation with Cuba. There are also links with sports. We are both baseball lovers. Therefore, I think this will be a good opportunity to strengthen our links, not only at the business level, he said.
He explained that now some business people hold exchanges and offer services in Havana, but no big step has been taken at the Government level, so they are very excited with their participation at FIHAV.
"There are memorandums of understanding to be signed. We are very happy and, naturally, we will hold some meetings with high ranking Cuban officials," he announced.
In his opinion, this is a very good moment, above all taking into account the resumption of diplomatic links between Cuba and the United States.
"Relations are changing and this calls the attention of the entire world and raises more expectations to do business," he said.
"I also think that the US blockade on Cuba will be lifted soon. The pressure from US business people and residents to visit Cuba will make difficult to maintain this policy," stated Palm.
About his country's delegation to FIHAV 2015, he said it will include at least 50 business people from some 30 firms, including local airline Insel Air, with operations in Cuba for three months now and also with plans to broaden them.
The delegation will also include tourism representatives interested in promoting Curaçao-Cuba packages, as well as experts from banking, finances, fashion and IT, he added.
Curaçao has a diversified, stable economy, though not growing as the rest of the nation, so FIHAV 2015 is a bright opportunity to promote bilateral trade.
Curaçao is also looking for greater presence at the international level; therefore many consider historic its participation in FIHAV 2015 as its first incursion as a country in this major Caribbean business forum, also one of the largest in Latin America.