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FROM BUILDINGS TO AGRI-FOOD, ITALIAN PRODUCTION COMES TO HAVANA.
FIHAV, the Havana International Fair, is the most important general trade fair in Cuba and the Caribbean, and one of the most important throughout the whole of Latin America. Now in its 31st edition, it will be held from 3 to 9 November in Havana’s Expocuba exhibition area. Last year, 67 countries and 44 Chambers of Commerce and promotion agencies took part, 3,587 international exhibitors occupied 15,000 square metres of exhibition space, and the fair was visited by about 97,000 people. The aim this year is to grow further: exhibition space will increase to 20,000 square metres, there will be 4,500 exhibitors from 60 countries, and the organisers hope to attract 150,000 visitors.
For more than thirty years, FIHAV has been an event not to be missed, but this year it assumes particular importance because it takes place during the Republic of Cuba’s pro tempore presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, a factor that will affect its programme of activities, conferences and seminars in many ways. And, obviously, at this year’s event, there will be a rich selection of the best of Italian manufacture in the most popular and highly appreciated sectors for the Cuban market – from industrial goods to agri-food products and products for building and construction.
The Italian group of exhibitors will be organised and curated by the ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency and will bring together as many as 40 companies, including in participation with consortia and other bodies, which will have about 900 square metres of exhibition space in Pavilion 22, strategically located at the entrance to the Expocuba Exhibition Complex of La Habana. This is therefore an unmissable opportunity to learn about the Italian companies, and to strengthen and expand existing relationships, particularly because there are many fields in which commercial relations between Cuba and Italy, which are already strong, can be further reinforced.
According to IMF-DOTS data (ICE processing), in the January-August period of 2012, Italy ranked tenth in the world as a supplier to Cuba (total exports of 195 million U.S. dollars), and twelfth as a customer (total imports of 46 million U.S. dollars). At the European level, in terms of imports, Italy ranked second after Spain. During the same period, imports to Cuba totalled nearly 7.9 billion U.S. dollars, with Venezuela remaining the number one exporter to Cuba (nearly 3 billion U.S. dollars), followed by China (about 702 million U.S. dollars) and Spain (around 661 million U.S. dollars). According to ISTAT data, in January-October 2012, Italy's exports to Cuba amounted to 184 million Euros while imports were 44 million Euros, with a positive balance for Italy of approximately 140 million Euros.