Restoring its relationship with the United States in July 2015, ending the 54 years stretch of distance from one another, Cuba has since further excelled its economic growth along with the efforts to secure foreign investments.
Following the initiative in 2016, UNIDO Tokyo continues its effort to invite the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba for investment promotion in Japan. This year, Ms. Natacha Gumá García, Legal Director of the Chamber has visited not only Tokyo but also Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima, actively promoting investment to Cuba by the Japanese companies.
As part of the program, an investment seminar was held at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Japan with participation by more than 30 business persons mainly representing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As an opening of the seminar, Ms. Maylem Rivero, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy stressed the importance of attracting external resources through FDI, because domestic savings are not enough to achieve accumulation rates over 20%. Ms. Ikue Toshinaga of UNIDO Tokyo, in charge of the invitation of Ms. García for two weeks, also spoke to welcome the participants.
Following the introduction of the Special Economic Development Zone of Mariel, Ms. Gumá made a presentation emphasizing the fact that the foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the most important tasks in the process of updating the Cuban economic model and to raise the growth rate of GDP, which is currently at 2-3% to 5%. The presentation also demonstrated the fact that the business level of the country well abides by international standards and the tax break and the insurance for direct investments/investor are in place.
The Special Economic Development Zone of Mariel was also presented as an important port to be soon completed, in which Japanese businesses in building the infrastructure and also extending further businesses through the port are much welcome. While the country provides medical and education to its people for free, and does not accommodate foreign investment in these areas, Ms. Gumá stresses that potentials are there for all sectors for the Japanese companies and that the win-win situation be created, which is most important. Japan ranks in the top three countries within the Asia for its trade relations with Cuba, yet does not rank in top ten globally. The Cuban Chamber of Commerce is well committed in accommodating businesses from Japan, which bear much potential, says Ms. Gumá.
The Q&A, which took place after the presentation continued to inspire the audience. In closing, Ambassador Carlos M. Pereira touched upon the fact that 11 representative offices of the Japanese companies are in Cuba and that the presence of the Japanese businesses is visible in Cuba. The Ambassador also suggested that there is much potential for SMEs to enter the market in Cuba and welcomes proactive approach to doing business with and in his country.
Date/Time: March 16, 2017 (Thur.) 14:00～16:30
Venue: Embassy of the Republic of Cuba,, 2F Hall
Organizers: Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, UNIDO Tokyo Office