Belarus-Cuba business forum
28 September 2022

The Belarus-Cuba business forum organized by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 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 was held at the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the visit of the delegation of the Cuban business community to Minsk.

The business forum was attended by 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 Benítez, 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, as well as more than 100 representatives of the two countries' companies.

In his welcoming speech, Denis Meleshkin, Deputy Chairman of the BelCCI, 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 has aroused among the Belarusian enterprises indicates 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 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 expressed confidence that the forum and the establishment of contacts between representatives of the business community of Belarus and Cuba will promote further development of trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Cuba to Belarus Santiago Perez Benítez noted that the Cuban side is interested in cooperation with the Belarusian business in medicine, mechanical engineering, digital economy and tourism. "We are interested in supplying spare parts for repair and restoration of tractors, MAZ trucks, AMKODOR, buses. We can assemble and create projects to supply this equipment to the Latin American market. A flexible approach is necessary but, by working together, we can overcome all barriers," he said. 

President of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba Antonio Luis Carricarte Corona said that specific agreements with Belarusian companies are 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.

In the course of the Belarus-Cuba business forum, the sides considered promising directions of the Belarusian-Cuban trade and economic cooperation and urgent issues of doing business. Presentations of opportunities of Cuban companies took place. The representatives of business communities of the two countries discussed the development of mutually beneficial cooperation and implementation of joint projects in the fields of industry, agricultural engineering, banking and logistics services, science, medicine, etc.