T&T companies tap into Cuban market at Expo Caribe 2019
The Trinidad and Tobago flag was flown high by twenty three (23) local companies at the recently held 16th Expo Caribe in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba during June 19 – 21, 2019. The delegation, comprising businesses seeking to expand into the Cuban market, was led by Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry. The delegation also comprised Mr. Shomari Hector, Assistant Secretary for Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and other THA officials.
The delegation expressed great optimism as a result of the 200 plus B2B meetings and collaborations with Cuban State companies. These meetings allowed local companies, based in both Tobago and Trinidad, to showcase their goods and services to the Cuban market.
Minister Gopee-Scoon held discussions with His Excellency Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Vice President of the Council of Ministers on greater collaboration between Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba in the areas of investment, trade, transportation and multi-destination tourism among other areas of interest. Meetings were also held with Mr. Antonio Luis Carricarte Corona, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment of Cuba, and Mr. Ruben Ramos Arrieta, Vice President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce. Minister Gopee-Scoon thanked Cuba for accepting Trinidad and Tobago’s products and reiterated Trinidad and Tobago’s keen interest in furthering trade and investment relations with Cuba.
Trinidad and Tobago copped three awards at Expo Caribe 2019. ExporTT Limited was awarded the Modular Stand Prize for its booth, which included all 23 companies. The trade promotion agency was also awarded the Social Communication Prize for Marketing of products and services and the Social Communication Prize for Public Relations for the positioning of its products, services, cultural values and identities of its companies and country in exhibition events to achieve the commercial integration of the Caribbean region.
Trinidad and Tobago’s booth was the largest and most popular in Expo Caribe, featuring samples of Carib beer, sausages with condiments from Vemco Ltd, snacks from Mr. Topper’s, teas from TeaBago Teas, among others.
Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in Expo Caribe 2019 exceeded its objectives to increase the visibility of Trinidad and Tobago and its products in the Cuban market and the Caribbean at large; strengthen and maintain previous collaborative relationships developed between local exporters and importers within the Cuban market; and increase export sales through market presence and recognition by Cuban and Regional buyers, importers and distributors.
Between January 2018 and May 2019, twenty (20) non-energy companies exported to Cuba, including Trinidad Tissues Ltd (Grand Bay Paper Products), Ansa Coatings Ltd, and Caribbean Development Co. Ltd (Carib Brewery). Two (2) energy companies - Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd and Trinidad Nitrogen Company Ltd - also exported to Cuba. These companies have registered to trade within the Cuban market. With the assistance of exporTT’s Trade Facilitation Office in Cuba, twenty-three (23) other companies are registered and awaiting orders and thirteen (13) companies are in the final stages of registration.