ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Ambassador of Cuba in Islamabad Gabriel Tiel Capote on Wednesday said his country was keen to enhance trade relations with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to promote mutual cooperation in many areas.
He said Pakistan could export textiles, fabrics, rice, surgical instruments, leather and sports goods to Cuba while Cuba could export its biotechnological and pharmaceutical products to Pakistan.
He expressed these views during his first interaction with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) here.
He said both countries could achieve mutually beneficial outcomes by enhancing cooperation in health, education, culture and sports fields as well.
He said Cuba had opened Mariel Port in 2014 situated in its North Western Region and created an Economic Development Zone around this port to attract foreign companies in the fields of electronics, chemicals, computers, biotechnology and pharmacy.
He said Pakistani investors should explore investment opportunities in this Economic Zone in Cuba.
The Ambassador said Cuba organized Havana International Fair every year which would held in November this year and it was a good opportunity for Pakistani businessmen to participate in the fair to showcase their products as well as identify opportunities for further expanding bilateral trade.
He suggested that ICCI should form a delegation of specific sectors for Cuba to explore business-matchmakings and assured that his Embassy would facilitate in connecting its members with right counterparts in Cuba.
In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, ICCI said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Cuba was just $5.6 million in 2015 which was not encouraging by any standard.
He said both countries should facilitate frequent exchange of trade delegations and focus on promoting connectivity between their private sectors to identify new avenues of mutual collaboration.
He said many Pakistani products including food and others could find good market in Cuba while Pakistan could also benefit from Cuban experience, especially in the fields of medical science and healthcare.
For improving bilateral trade and economic relations, it was necessary that both countries improved communications links including direct flights, he added.
Sheikh Pervez Ahmed Senior Vice President and Sheikh Abdul Waheed, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry also put up suggestions to bring the two countries more closer in trade and economic relations.