Cuba: UNIDO ITPO Italy creates new synergies with MINCEX, MINDUS, VUINEX, AICS, CNEE and CITMA

Havana, Cuba - 30th November - 4th December 2021

Cuba: UNIDO ITPO Italy creates new synergies with MINCEX, MINDUS, VUINEX, AICS, CNEE and CITMA

During its latest mission to Cuba from 30th November to 4th December 2021, UNIDO ITPO Italy met with multiple representatives of several Cuban institutions, in order to discuss current progresses and evaluate future activities to be carried out in the framework of different projects promoting an inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Cuba – namely, “Capacity Building on Investment for Cuban Government” and “Fostering international partnerships between companies and/or institutions operating in the energy and environment sectors”.

UNIDO ITPO Italy visited the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX) of Cuba in order to brief about the contributions of several activities carried out in the framework of the project “Capacity Building on Investment for Cuban Government”: among these, the launch of VUINEX – the Single Window for Foreign Investment, aimed at reducing the time frames necessary for both local and foreign investors to start a business within the country.

MINCEX Vice Minister Mrs. Deborah Rivas and General Director of Investments Mr. Carlos Luis Jorge Mendez thanked UNIDO ITPO Italy for its contribution to increase the capability of the country to attract foreign investors and speed up authorization processes for potential businesses, as well as for the design and set-up of a new, ad-hoc web platform as promotional tool to highlight a portfolio of business opportunities in Cuba. Launched on 30th November 2021, the platform is now available from anywhere in the world in 5 different languages for the consultation of investment projects classified by priority sectors. UNIDO ITPO Italy was also thanked with regards to the COMFAR training and COMFAR III Expert licenses kits provided, which will be installed in every province of Cuba to facilitate the evaluation of investment proposals. It was ultimately agreed to increase the cooperation between MINCEX and UNIDO, in order to promote and facilitate foreign investment in Cuba and develop initiatives to boost the capabilities of local business entrepreneurs.

Together with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Cuba, UNIDO ITPO Italy discussed the possibility to develop the proposal of a new project, to be financed by AICS and aimed at assisting the Cuban government in connecting foreign investment projects with territorial developmentMore specifically, the new project would support and upgrade local start-ups and MSMEs towards job creation and a more diversified economy within the country through the provision of value-added services, tools and programs to boost the capabilities of business entrepreneurs and investors. Moreover, by facilitating domestic investment, the project would lead to the attraction of foreign direct investments as well, especially through the linkages to be provided by the UNIDO ITPO Network.

After conducting an assessment study with international experts, UNIDO ITPO Italy acquired laboratory and measuring equipment to strengthen and develop capacities at the National Packaging Center of Cuba (CNEE), which is part of the Center for Technology and Industrial Quality (OSDE GESIME) of the Ministry of Industries of Cuba (MINDUS).

The commissioning ceremony was opened by CNEE Director Mrs. Miriela Valle Cepero, who thanked UNIDO ITPO Italy not only for the acquisition of basic equipment to test packaging materials and packages, but also for all capacity-building services provided to support the CNEE – among these: personnel training, workshops and specialist recruitment; development of institutional collaborations in the field (e.g. World Packaging Organization); updated policies and normative basis; and further activities already in pipeline. In addition, the new AICS Director in Cuba Mr. Antonio Festa also congratulated UNIDO ITPO Italy on the improvement of the local capacities of CNEE to test different packaging materials and technologies for compliance with national and international standards, which will serve as guiding force towards increased exports for inclusive economic growth within the country.

Furthermore, UNIDO ITPO Italy met with several representatives of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba (CITMA) in order to define a shared agenda for the next activities to be implemented within the framework of the project “Fostering international partnerships between companies and/or institutions operating in the energy and environment sectors”, funded by the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition and implemented by UNIDO ITPO Italy. CITMA Director of International Relations Mr. Ulises Fernandez Gomez thanked UNIDO ITPO Italy for the support provided and agreed to complete the operational document of the project. Among the forthcoming activities to be planned, it was mentioned the support for saline intrusion management solutions in local agricultural zones, the implementation of circular economy models at municipal level, and further capacity development and training on environmental issues for SMEs in Cuba.