The first ever bilateral UAE-Cuba Investment Forum was attended by over 50 delegates highlighting the opportunities for investment in the Cuban economy. It was the culmination of a week-long programme for a group of senior Cuban Government officials and businessmen led by HE Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, Cuba's Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, who also visited a number of businesses and organisations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Director of Economic Affairs and International Cooperation Department at MoFA Fahad Al Taffaq said: "The recent visit of UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Cuba, during which was the official opening of the UAE Embassy in Havana, marked a historical milestone for both countries".
"We stress the importance of a sound legal framework for the relationship to grow. In that regard, we hope to see an agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Investment Protection Agreement between the UAE and Cuba in the future" he said.
"Cuba is a prominent country in the Caribbean region, and we look forward to promoting Cuba as a hub for UAE investments in the region. We note the Potential for the UAE & Cuba to invest together in the Caribbean region," he added.
"Our bilateral relations have developed over the past few years in all areas of cooperation, and we look forward to the continuation of such visits in order to develop and strengthen our bilateral relations. It brings me great pleasure to bear witness to this vital juncture of our bilateral history, and I look forward to the positive impact of this Forum on both countries." H.E said.
DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: "The UAE is a trading hub and Cuba provides another market for businesses here to explore and develop their interests. In partnership with MoFA we are working to provide this platform to network and make contact with senior Cuban officials who can help create the environment for business to flourish.
"DP World has extensive experience in the global supply chain, across ports, logistics, free zones, as well as trade generally, thanks to the vision of our leaders to explore new growth strategies that is being realised by our continued focus on developing and emerging markets. In particular, Latin America continues to be a key part of our operations and we have made a major impact on economies and communities as an employer in the region for the long term. With our understanding of regional and global trade issues we are delighted to contribute to these discussions and the business opportunities that may well arise."
DP World Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Sharaf, said: "Firm partnerships form the foundations of trade and global business transactions and these relationships need to be forged over time in new markets in order for agreements to develop. Events such as this create the conditions for those relationships to be nurtured and the opportunity to build bilateral trading ties between our two countries will bring benefits for all parties for the future."
Topics under discussion at the Forum included the current investment climate in Cuba, special development zones in the country, opportunities in the Cuban genetic engineering, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors and investment opportunities for Cuban businesses in the UAE.