The Cuban government hopes to attract more foreign investments in its largest commercial market, the Havana International Trade Fair, FIHAV 2019, which will be held in November, despite the fuel crisis in the country, which is affecting transportation and the activities of enterprises and citizens.
“Circumstances are very difficult,” said this Tuesday the director general of foreign investment of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Déborah Rivas, during the presentation of the 4th Business Forum that will be part of the 37th edition of FIHAV, scheduled for November 3-8.
In spite of the difficulties, the official was confident that the Forum “will contribute to continuing to attract foreign capital,” something that the Cuban government considers fundamental to keep its fragile economy afloat, and she said that “contacts between companies” interested in investing in Cuba will increase, especially in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM).
The ZEDM, the country’s main project to attract investments located west of Havana, already has 48 approved businesses and 25 in operation, Wendy Miranda, director of the project’s One-Stop Window System, said.
These days Cuba is facing what could be its worst energy crisis since the 1990s, with the diesel shipments from Venezuela having been partially interrupted, something that the Cuban government attributes to the strengthening of the U.S. embargo and restrictions by the Donald Trump administration to Venezuelan oil.
The last ship with diesel arrived on the island on Saturday and no more will arrive until the end of the month or beginning of October, which is causing cuts in the island’s transportation and industrial activities, in addition to generating fears of possible power cuts. However, the government has ensured that it is a “temporary situation” and that it is working to solve the crisis.
The director general of foreign investment this Tuesday launched a message telling current and potential investors in Cuba to be calm, and assuring them that they have all the “guarantees” that their projects on the island are not at risk, and inviting them to take advantage of the business opportunities at the Havana Fair.
Some 2,500 businesspeople from more than 60 nations participated in FIHAV last year, among which Spain was the most represented foreign country. Then it was announced that in the previous 12 months ZEDM had attracted investments worth 474 million dollars, its all-time maximum.
EFE / OnCuba