Her Excellence the Ambassador of Cuba in Canada, Teresita de Jesús Vicente Sotolongo and the Cuban Consul General at Toronto, Mr. Jorge Soberon, together with honorable guests celebrated the 65th Anniversary of Canada-Cuba Bilateral Diplomatic Relations, on Monday March 29th 2010 at Le Treport Convention Center in Mississauga, Ontario.
The Embassy of the Republic of Cuba and its Consulate General in Toronto, were honored with the presence of Hon. Sandra Pupatello, Ontario´s Minister of Economic Development and Trade and Members of her staff.
Even when bilateral diplomatic relations were formally established with Cuba being the first country in the Caribbean where Canada established a diplomatic mission in the year 1945, it is not a coincidence that in such an early date as 1903 a Commercial Office of the Republic of Cuba was established in Nova Scotia, to diversify the existing trade of cod fish for Cuban rum and sugar.
In the course of the years, those initial exchanges were extended from the Maritimes, all along the huge Canadian territory. Nowadays, the province of Ontario has become the venue of most of the companies and entrepreneurs currently involved in business with Cuba.
Ontario’s business executives participate in each one of the critical commercial activities between Canada and Cuba, such as tourism, main Cuban industries´ supplies, and key economic sectors’ investments, among others.
Canada is one of the main investors in Cuba. Canadian investments are significant in the current Cuban economy given its relative size, and the key sectors of nickel-cobalt production and gas and oil prospecting and extraction.
Canada holds 15% of all current foreign investment in the island, 9 % of it in the mining industry, where it is the greatest investor. In terms of bilateral trade Canada is the fourth commercial partner with Cuba, representing 8% of global trade for Cuba in 2008. Exports to Canada include nickel (90 % of total exports to Canada) and imports include foodstuffs, minerals, equipment and machinery. Tourism has been one of the pillars in the revival of the Cuban economy, and holds the leadership in this area. Canadian tourism is a solid, consolidated market, with a high rate of revisits and almost a million Canadians visiting Cuba each year.