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Event report: Exploring Business Opportunities for Japanese Companies in Cuba

Event report: Exploring Business Opportunities for Japanese Companies in Cuba

UNIDO ITPO Tokyo organized Cuba Business Seminar with the Embassy of Cuba in Japan on 5 June 2023.  The seminar focused on the latest business situation in Cuba and opportunities for Japanese companies. The seminar was held in a hybrid format and was attended by a total of about 80 people.

At the beginning of the event, Ms. Fumio Adachi, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo Head, and H.E. Mr. Miguel Ángel Ramírez Ramos, Ambassador of Cuba to Japan, delivered opening and welcome remarks respectively, expressing their support for business promotion between Japan and Cuba.

In his presentation, Mr. Atsushi Nabeshima, President of Universal Wisdom Inc., introduced his company’s import business from Cuba, noting that since 2020 the company has gradually expanded its imports to include coffee beans, rum, and cacao beans, with increased volume of these products from approximately 1,000 kg to 7,000 kg in the past three years. On the other hand, Mr. Nabeshima emphasized two challenges in entering the Cuban market: registration of a legal entity and overseas remittance.

Ms. Milena Perez, General Director of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions and Events at the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba, gave her presentation on prospects and opportunities for businesses in Cuba. She stated that, with more foucs on economic development utilizing the private sector, business opportunities for Japanese companies in Cuba are expanding. According to Ms. Perez, the Cuban economy, which had been stagnant due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is recovering and is expected to grow around 3% in 2023. She added that the tourist arrivals have increased by about 1 million compared to the same period of the previous year. She further mentioned that the number of tourists from South Korea is particularly high and that direct flights between South Korea and Cuba is scheduled to start towards 2023 year-end.

Ms. Loida Rivera, Head of Asian Bureau, International Relations Division at the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba, introduced that Cuba has recently developed business environment that makes it easier for Japanese companies to start business, such as simplification of corporate registration for foreign companies and establishment of a one-stop window for starting a business. Referring to renewable energy and food production as priority areas, Ms. Rivera stated that Japan is making progress in the field of renewable energy, so she has high expectations for Japan in this field.

After the Q&A session, participants engaged in lively networking with the speakers. The Embassy of Cuba arranged some samples of exportable products from Cuba sucha as cigar, rum and honey for display at the seminar venue.

Seminar Outline

Date:              5 June 2023 (Monday)
Time:              14:00-16:00 (JST)
Format:           Hybrid (On-site & Online)
Venue:            AP Shinagawa Annex  Room I, B1F
               (Shinagawa Centre Building, 3-23-17 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Online:            Zoom
Organized by:  UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, Embassy of Cuba in Japan
Supported by:  JETRO, Japan Cuba Economic Committee
Language:       Japanese-Spanish Consecutive Interpretation
Participation:   Free of charge



13:45-             Registration

14:00-14:05   Opening Remarks
                       Ms. Fumio Adachi, Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo

14:05-14:10    Welcome Remarks                  
                      H.E. Mr. Miguel Ángel Ramírez Ramos, Ambassador of Cuba to Japan

14:05-14:35    Presentation: Business Experience with Cuba
               Mr. Atsushi Nabeshima, President, Universal Wisdom Inc.

14:35-15:35    Presentation:  Cuba Business  – Prospects and Opportunities –
                      Ms. Milena Perez, General Director of Trade Fairs, Exhibitions and Events  
                      Ms. Loida Rivera, Head of Asian Bureau, International Relations Division
                      The Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba

15:35-16:00    Q & A Session

16:00              Closing


For more information, please contact:

Ms. Toshinaga / Ms. Horiguchi, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo

Ms. Hiratani, Embassy of Cuba in Japan
TEL: 03-5570-3182  Ext. 2