Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2015 Contents Following the
Cuba, US$51 million will be
invested in both T&T and Cuba
said Adrian Theodore, CEO, exporTT.
FIHAV took place in Cuba from November
2 to 7 and Theodore said discussions are under-
way with local companies, which he cannot
name at this time, and will result in money
being invested in Cuba by T&T companies
and Cuban companies investing in T&T.
"We are looking at two possible plants from
two different industries being set up in Cuba
and this will be the brunt of that money. The
plants are in two different industries but are
part of "redondo negocios" which involves
market access for T&T goods into Cuba and
T&T investments in plants in Cuba to supply
Cuba and further afield in Latin America.
Apart from discussions on looking for markets
into Cuba, talks centred around foreign direct
investment by our T&T companies into Cuba
and Cuban companies back into T&T," he told
the Business Guardian by phone last Friday.
The 2015 trade fair follows the re-estab-
lishment of diplomatic ties between Cuba and
the United States and the re-opening of
embassies by the two countries in July after
half century of Cold War antagonism.
Cuba, which has traditionally had a com-
mand economy, is opening up to foreign invest-
ment with US companies ready to do business
and other countries will-
ing to do trade with the
Caribbean's largest island.
At FIHAV about 50
American companies were present looking for
opportunities in the Cuban market as Cuba
is enticing foreigners with tax cuts and a Chi-
nese-style special development zone around
its Mariel region.
Theodore, who joined exporTT as its new
CEO at the end of August, said the company's
mandate is to develop and diversify the non-
energy sector and the company has been in
existence for a little over three years.
He also said 14 T&T companies from diverse
sectors went to FIHAV.
The T&T companies at FIHAV were Angos-
tura Ltd, ANSA Coatings, Associated
Brands/Universal Foods Ltd, Carib Glass Works,
Caribbean Chemicals, Decker Petroleum and
Marketing, John Dickinson and Co, KC Con-
fectionery Ltd, Pepe's Group-Hillside D'An-
drade Enterprise, Sacha Cosmetics, Tricon
Company, Concrete Products Company and
Trinidad Tissue Ltd.
"We have been discussing joint ventures
with Cuba, bi-lateral arrangements. We have
also been making links in terms of potentially
supplying Cuba with significant products from
the food and beverage industry, construction
materials and from the glass sector. We are
at a point where some of our sellers have been
asked to bid on specific contracts and they
have done that. So that is in the pipeline, as
we speak," he said.
He accompanied the delegation to Cuba in
early November to the trade show there and
was the first exporTT CEO to have visited
He said there is a trade-facilitation office
in Cuba which has been there for eight years.
The Cuban Government gave T&T the author-
ity to set up the office which has been the
point for all business conducted in Cuba.
"The trade-facilitation office is that conduit
with the Cuban Government. ExporTT was
given responsibility for that office about two
years ago. In Cuba, because of the nature of
the economy you really have a concentration
of buyers as few people make the decisions.
Our exporters met the top people in the dif-
ferent organisations," he said.
He added exporTT also hosted a seminar
by Republic Bank at its office in Cuba to explain
the financial side of doing business in Cuba.
Given the urgent need for industrialisation,
Theodore said T&T has to move from incre-
mental growth to exponential growth and this
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 26 • 2015
exporTT scores at
Havana Trade Fair:
US$51 m to
in T&T, Cuba
Adrian Theodore, right, and Miguel Bermudez of KC Confectionary, left with buyers from ITH
(Ministry of Tourism).
Lisa Ramsumair, exports manager, Carib Glass, with David Hadeed, managing director, Carib
Glass, meet with potential buyers.
Christopher Lok-Jack, business development, Associated Brands Ltd, meets potential buyers.
Claire Johnson, export manager, ANSA Coatings with representatives from IMECO (importers
for the Cuban Ministry of Construction). PHOTOS COURTESY EXPORTT
Continued on Page 7
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