A promising partner in Latin America

№ 4, 2022

The cleanest ocean and snow-white beaches of Cuba attract tourists from all over the world, including from Belarus. Tourism is an important area of bilateral cooperation. At the same time, this area is far from being the only one.

Cuba is an important trading partner of Belarus in Latin America. In 2021, the trade between Belarus and Cuba amounted to 22.9 million US dollars, with Belarusian export exceeding USD 20 million. Belarusian exports are based on agricultural machinery and equipment, trucks, internal combustion engines, tires, spare parts. Belarus mainly imports medicines from Cuba.

Favorable factors for the development of trade and economic relations remain the high level of political relations between the countries and the potential demand for Belarusian goods on the Cuban market due to the long positive experience of Cuban end consumers with domestic sophisticated technical products, primarily agricultural equipment. There are more than 20 thousand Belarus made tractors working in the fields of Cuba today. Business networking of Belarus and Cuba contributes to the further development of trade and economic relations.

On September, 27, the Belarus-Cuba business forum was held at the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organized by the BelCCI in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba with the assistance of the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Belarus and the Belarusian diplomatic mission in Cuba.


Addressing the forum were Denis Meleshkin, Deputy Chairman of the BelCCI, Antonio Luis Carricarte Corona, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Republic of Cuba Valery Baranovsky (a video address), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Cuba to Belarus Santiago Perez Benitez, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus, the Minsk City Executive Committee, the Great Stone Industrial Park and Belarusian free economic zones.

On behalf of Belarus the event was attended by more than 90 representatives from 65 enterprises that would like to promote their goods to the Cuban market, involved in industry, especially agricultural engineering, banking and logistics, science and medicine. Cuba was represented by 18 business officials.

In his welcoming speech, Denis Meleshkin noted that the business forum was the first meeting of business representatives from the two countries over a long time. And the interest that the event had aroused among the ­Belarusian enterprises indicated a significant potential for bilateral cooperation.

"For Belarus, Cuba is an export-import partner. At the same time, Cuba is considered a gateway to the large market of Latin America – to Venezuela, Bolivia, and other major countries of the region. We have always positioned Belarus as a platform for entering the big market of the Eurasian Economic Union, including through international projects that are being implemented in our country. For instance, in the Great Stone Park or free economic zones there is a possibility to locate joint productions, innovative projects of the Cuban side. The EAEU can be regarded as a market of potential buyers of the manufactured products," Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted.

Denis Meleshkin also underlined that Chambers of Commerce and Industry are continuously exchanging business contacts and proposals, information about exhibitions and fairs, conferences, seminars and other events in the two countries. He invited Cuban companies to take part in major international exhibition and congress events in Belarus next year. Besides, Denis Meleshkin expressed confidence that the forum will promote further development of trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Cuba to Belarus Santiago Perez Benitez noted that the business ties of Belarus and Cuba are based on a solid foundation of friendship, converging interests, trust-based political dialogue. The Cuban side is interested in cooperation with the Belarusian business in medicine, mechanical engineering, digital economy and tourism. "Cuba can contribute to the improvement of healthcare, because this area is well-developed. We can also cooperate with Belarus in mechanical engineering: not only in the purchase of new models but also in the purchase of spare parts for the reconstruction of machinery already operating in Cuba. We are interested in the supply of spare parts for repair and restoration of tractors, MAZ trucks, AMKODOR equipment, and buses. We can assemble and develop projects to supply this equipment to the Latin American market. Belarus and Cuba also have great potential in digital economy and tourism. These issues should be approached flexibly, but if we work together, we will be able to overcome all the obstacles," the Ambassador said.

President of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba Antonio Luis Carricarte Corona said that specific agreements with ­Belarusian companies were planned to be reached at the business forum. "The situation in the world is difficult now. However, due to the transformation of the Cuban economy, the country plans closest cooperation in agriculture and food production. Belarusian technologies, tractor and truck products and their maintenance are also in demand in Cuba. Cuba can be viewed as a bridge to the market of neighboring countries. The Cuban delegation includes companies involved in the production of pharma­ceutical products, biotechnologies and they are interested in entering the Belarusian market," he said.

At the Belarus-Cuba business forum, the parties considered promising areas of bilateral trade and economic cooperation and urgent doing business issues. Presentations of the Cuban companies' opportunities took place. Representatives of the business communities of Belarus and Cuba negotiated the development of mutually bene­ficial cooperation and implementation of joint projects in industrial sector, agricultural engineering, banking and logistics services, science, medicine, and others.

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