The presence in Cuba of a delegation of 71 trade representatives, participating in a Business Forum inaugurated July 7 in Havana, demonstrates both countries’ interest in exploring new aspects of bilateral relations.
The long-term aim is to diversify commercial ties and explore existing potential, stated Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Economic Cooperation, Ramón Gordils, speaking at the opening session of the event held in Havana’s Hotel Nacional.
Also the President of Venezuela’s Foreign Trade Bank (Bancoex), Gordils stated that the event, which also saw the participation of Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba Alí Rodríguez Araque, coincides with the 15th anniversary of the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement, which is why it was decided to include a program to promote business in the agreement’s annual plan.
Meanwhile, the President of Cuba’s Chamber of Commerce, Orlando Hernández Guillén, noted the country’s interest in strengthening commercial relations to the same level of political ties.
He also commented on Venezuela’s growing presence at the Havana International Trade Fair, while also noting the desire of businesses from that nation to occupy a larger space within the Cuban market.
Speaking to Granma shortly before the Cuba-Venezuela Business Mission began, Hernández Guillén noted that the forum aims to strengthen and promote ties between Venezuela’s public and private business sector and Cuban entities.
Hernández Guillén described the strong governmental ties developed over many years as a result of the Cooperation Agreement; also noting that efforts are currently underway to strengthen relations in the spheres of health, construction, industry, and chemicals, among others.
The event also saw the participation of many Venezuelan businesses for the first time, despite having long-standing links with the island, such as a subsidiary affiliated with Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) of 44 companies across sectors such as construction.
PDVSA Vice President of Industrial Development Valmore González noted that despite being the entity’s first visit to the island, representatives hope to develop relations and diversify sources of revenue by supplying equipment and resources, for example.
González also noted that he represents three joint enterprises in Venezuela, and two in Cuba, a cement manufacturing entity in Santiago and the other for mortars in Artemisa.
He also noted Cuba’s potential for exports to Venezuela, supported by the two countries’ long-standing ties of friendship and cooperation.
For his part, representative of the company Zoe Automotriz, Alfredo Hernández, stated that he hoped to establish ties with Cuban entities interested in the group’s line of cleaning products.
Hernández, whose company sells detergent, bleach-free, anti-bacterial cleaning products, and disinfectant welcomed the establishment of long-lasting, feasible, and mutually beneficial businesses.