Rome - June 30th, 2014
Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 30th 2014. The first Italian meeting in Rome between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade of Cuba, Mrs. Ilena Nunez Mordoch, her delegation and the Italian entrepreneurs, as part of a journey among the major European capitals, was the stage to present the new legislation on foreign investment within the framework of the economic reform process underway in the Caribbean island. The conference took place at the Ministry Foreign Affairs and was organized by the UNIDO – Office for the Promotion of Technological and Investment (ITPO) Italy and by the Embassy of Cuba in Italy, in collaboration with the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development, the Ice and Institute Italian Latin American (Iila).
As pointed out by Mr. Luigi Marras, Director General for Globalization and Global Issues of the Foreign Ministry, "Italy maintains positive relationships with Cuba in numerous fields of international cooperation, in particular regarding the business cooperation. Against this background, the expanding network of partnerships is an important step to revive Cuba's position in the international context and to ensure that the country may seize the opportunities that may show up."
"Hopefully - he added - the visit of the Deputy Minister will be a first but important step for renewed relations between the two countries and I hope that the collaboration will be characterized by continuity and further growth, aiming at developing new forms of cooperation in each different field."
The new law on foreign investment is part of a wider programme of updating the Cuban economic model, "a relevant process of great importance for Cuba’s economy, thanks to its capacity in facilitating the modernization and upgrading the productivity of the country", said Mr. Giuseppe Tripoli, the Director General for Policy and Promotion of trade Internationalization of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. He recalled that "trade between the two countries is already significant but can still increase, not only commercially but also on the cooperation and collaboration sides." For its part, the UNIDO ITPO Director , Mrs. Diana Battaggia, expressed appreciation for the large number of entrepreneurs attending the event; she also underlined the "untapped resources" in several Cuban areas which "may be the foundation of successful cooperation", a view that "identifies more and more businesses as sources of development."
Presenting the audience the new economic measures of the Cuban government, Nunez Mordoche highlighted the promotion of foreign investment in Cuba as a government’s "strategic action", with the goal of "modernizing the economy, creating new jobs and improving infrastructures". The Deputy Minister introduced the national context, the regulatory framework, the investment opportunities of Mariel special development zone and the business opportunities in specific sectors of the Cuban economy; she underscored, among others, tourism, agriculture and forestry, food industry, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, the industrial system, construction, renewable energy and mining as promising sectors of business cooperation among Italian and Cuban firms.