Some 60 Canadian organizations including companies, national associations, and governmental agencies attended the 25th annual International Havana Fair (FIHAV 2007) held at the Expocuba exhibition site to the west of the Cuban capital.
Canada's official pavilion had 36 stands in an area of around 600 m2. As in previous years, Canada placed among the countries with the largest representations in the most important commercial fair in Cuba. Its presence was a show of Canada's varied industries and the desire of Cuban companies to work within an innovative and creative market.
The companies' products included juice and soda dispensers, dry foods, furniture, refrigeration and food preparation appliances, cereals, security systems, cleaning products, trucks, cars, containers" and photocopy and printing products.
Among the firms present were Baycor Fibre Tech, Cesigma, Olymel, Kristom Canada, Export Packers, Reuven International, Orlidion Distribution, and MDS Nordion.
A special moment was the opening of the pavilion which was attended by Cuban Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz, Cuban Foreign Trade Minister Raúl de la Nuez, Canadian Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Business Development and Chief Trade Commissioner Robert Déry, and Canadian Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba Jean-Pierre Juneau.
During the fair Cuban and Canadian representatives signed two commercial agreements. The first agreement was for the supply of 150,00 tons of wheat to Cuba and the second was for a supply of 3,500 tons of milk.
The agreements were signed by Pedro Alvarez, Director of the Cuban company Alimport and Greg Arason, President of the Canadian Wheat Board and Gaetan Paquette, Director of the Canadian Dairy Commission.
Canada is the fourth largest commercial partner of Cuba with trade of almost 1 billion Canadian dollars a year. The main economic areas are nickel production, electricity generation, oil extraction, and tourism.
Canada and Cuba are a model of the excellent relationship that can exist between two sovereign nations and their peoples. Since the start of Cuba's international tourism development, Canada has became the biggest providers of tourists reaching up to 600,000 visitors a year.
A new record is expected for the 2008 trade fair, to be held from November 3rd to November 8th, with more than with 2000 international companies involved in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, biotechnology and others exhibiting their products.