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Ambassador welcomes reactivation of flights to Havana

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cuban Ambassador Guillermo Vázquez Moreno has welcomed the reactivation of flights between Port-of-Spain/Havana. He said the direct flight to Cuba is key to increasing the bilateral commercial relations between the countries.

The ambassador’s comments come after Finance Minister Colm Imbert had made the announcement at last Thursday’s post-Cabinet news conference that there would be two flights per week and those flights would also be available to individuals from Caricom-member States.

The size of the Cuban market is more than 11 million people with Spanish as the main language. Not only known for its cigars, the country is also known for its education system, Sporting fraternity and health care system among many other sectors.

In a statement to the T&T Guardian, the ambassador said the business community from both countries can save time and money now that the route has been reactivated.

“The flight introduces a comparative advantage that other markets do not have. We are confident that this step is a significant boost to our commercial and economic relationships.”

Already the announcement is being embraced by the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) president Christopher Alcazar who said opening the route is an important step to increasing trade between the two countries.

He noted, however, that there is need to remove, “all other trading obstacles where Cuba is concerned. For years the TTMA has been working to get our products into this market, there are many challenges such as extended credit facilities to be offered.”

Speaking further about doing business in Cuba, Alcazar said penetration of a protected market is “difficult,” because there are limited buyers in Cuba, just the Government.

“In March 2017, the TTMA embarked on a trade mission to Cuba with a view of establishing business relationships between T&T and Cuba, exploring investment opportunities and fostering ties with key trade and economic organisations and agencies.”

The TTMA signed an MoU with the Cuba Chamber of Commerce during that mission, and now look forward to increased opportunities in trade, investment and tourism as a result of the opening of the Cuba route.


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