Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, November 9, 2012.  Caribbean Export has successfully organised the participation of 5 CARIFORUM Countries (The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Lucia) in the 30th Edition of the Havana International Fair in Cuba (FIHAV) taking place from November 4-10, 2012.

Caribbean Export Stand at FIHAV 2012

A total of fifteen (15) CARIFORUM companies participated in this event and showcased their products at the most important fair in Cuba and one of the most important events in the region which hosts 59 countries exhibiting in 18,608 mof exhibitionspace covering a wide variety of products and services.

The involvement of these companies was made possible via the close collaboration between Caribbean Export, Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), the Dominican Republic Export and Investment Centre (CEI-RD) and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce and with the support of the European Union in the framework of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme.

• (left) Ambassador. Colin Murdoch, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Antigua & Barbuda and Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Caribbean Export and President of the Chamber of Cuba Mrs. Estrella Madrigal Valdez exchanging the MOU

The Caribbean Delegation was led by Ambassador. Colin Murdoch, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Antigua & Barbuda and Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Caribbean Export.

Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique also participated demonstrating the great interest of the wider Caribbean in this important trade exhibition leading Amb. Murdoch to express that “for the next edition of FIHAV in 2013 Caribbean Export hopes to be able to host a joint Caribbean pavilion in which all 15 CARIFORUM States will be able to participate alongside the French, Dutch and British regions and territories in the Caribbean with a view to showcasing the quality and variety of the products manufactured in the region”.

The programme of activities included a workshop on how to export to Cuba, business to business meetings and a common Caribbean stand at the Fair.

In the framework of FIHAV, Caribbean Export and the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that seeks to enhance the collaboration of both institutions to promote trade and investment with the wider Caribbean region.

The MOU was signed by the President of the Chamber of Cuba Mrs. Estrella Madrigal Valdez, Amb. Colin Murdoch and Mr. Escipion Oliveira, Deputy Executive Director of the Caribbean Export.

Group at MOU signing

The event was also attended, by Ms. Donnalee Bowe, Board Member for Bahamas, Berletta Forrester (JAMPRO), Alternate Board Member for Jamaica, Sofia Ortiz, Export Promotion Manager of CEI-RD, Mrs. Celia Labora Rodriguez, Director of International Relations of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba, Mirtha Rippes, Expert at the Directorate of International Relations of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba, Christopher McNair, Manager – Competitiveness and Innovation and Leonel Naut, Advisor – Competitiveness and Innovation of the Agency.

Also participating in the activities of FIHAV were Mr. Emmanuel Gerald, Director of Commerce and Industry of Saint Lucia and Ms. Andrena Simon Marketing, Advertising & Communications Officer of TEPA.

Mr. Murdoch stated that this MOU “signalled an end and a beginning. The end of arduous work and negotiations between the parties which had enabled, among others, the successful joint participation of  CARIFORUM States in FIHAV and the beginning of a new era of collaboration and prosperity between the biggest island in the Caribbean and its CARIFORUM brothers”.

Mrs. Estrella emphasised that “We Caribbean countries share the same sun, sea, air and cultural heritage and that the partnership with Caribbean Export in the framework of the MOU was an excellent vehicle to promote enhanced collaboration leading to greater trade and investment amongst sister nations”.

About Caribbean Export

Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union  under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF)  Caribbean Export’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic alliances.

More information about Caribbean Export can be found at www.carib-export.com.  Contact: JoEllen Laryea, PR and Communications, Caribbean Export Development Agency, Tel: +1(246) 436-0578, Fax: +1(246) 436-9999, Email: jlaryea@carib-export.com