Cuba can be gateway for India to access 660 million consumers of LAC region

“Cuba seeks World Trade Center Mumbai’s assistance in enhancing trade, investment, tourism and cultural relations with India. Currently, bilateral trade is very low at USD 27 million, which has a potential to grow 18 times to USD 500 million in the emerging world trade order. Global supply chain is being redrawn in the post-pandemic world order and this creates huge opportunity for both the countries to collaborate. Specifically, there is untapped potential in sectors such as renewable energy, bio-pharma, IT-enabled services, agro-commodities and tourism,” said H.E. Mr. Alejandro Simancas Marin, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to India at an interactive meeting organised by WTC Mumbai.

Referring to scope for cooperation in the entertainment sector, H.E. Mr. Marin said, “Cuba has a vibrant tourism industry and there is vast potential for Indian investment in Cuba, specifically in tourism and film production. Cuba is keen to strengthen relations with India in entertainment and tourism sectors.” The Ambassador acknowledged the contribution of the Indian cinema in promoting popular places such as Switzerland, Abu Dhabi and Thailand as global tourist destinations and was hoping the same could be replicated for Cuba.

He also pointed out that Indian companies can consider Cuba as their gateway to enter the Latin America and the Caribbean market, which has population of more than 660 million or 8% of world consumer market.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Abel Aballe Despaigne, Deputy Head of Cuba Mission in India mentioned five sectors that have untapped potential for trade and investment between both the countries. These five sectors are: renewable energy, biotech, pharma, information & communication technology, agro and tourism.

He also highlighted that, just before the pandemic, during the Cuban Business Forum of 2020, Indian companies had the highest number of participation, even outnumbering China. However, the pandemic changed everything. Now with the pandemic under control, this is the best time to move forward and forge strong economic ties.

Earlier in her welcome remarks, Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, World Trade Center Mumbai assured all possible support to strengthen bilateral ties in trade, investment, tourism and cultural sectors. She remarked, “India and Cuba have lot of unexplored potential. WTC Mumbai being India’s premier international trade promotion organisation, world like to be the bridge between India and Cuban business community. She extended invitation to the Cuban companies to participate at WTC Mumbai’s flagship event “Connect India 2022”, which can further improve their understanding on Indian markets and opportunities therein. Connect India, which is a digital platform to support Indian companies to connect globally, is set to commence virtual trade show from August 1, 2022.

H.E. Mr. Alejandro Simancas Marin, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to India (right) being felicitated by Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai during an interactive meeting to promote bilateral relations.