JOHANNESBURG - The Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Joan Fubbs says that South Africa has plenty of local content which it can share with Cuba to ensure that both countries pursue a trade agenda that is mutually beneficial and cements trade relations.
Fubbs said this during her visit to the South African Pavilion currently showcasing local products and services at the Havana International Fair (FIHAV), in Havana, Cuba.
Fubbs expressed her approval at the calibre of exhibitors brought to Havana by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and she urged the department to persuade many more local businesspeople to identify Cuba as a trade destination of choice.
“I have seen many of our pavilions and actually this is one of the finest. We have plenty of local content which we can share with Cuba, content such as our strong wine sector which is labour-intensive, the chemicals and manufacturing sector which is also well represented here for the Cubans to interrogate and address whatever inquiries they may have. We also have our South African Boatbuilders Export Council. The agro-processing, health, hygiene and cleaning products sectors are also well represented. We can trade more in these products with our Cuban counterparts,” Fubbs said.
In addition, Fubbs mentioned that there was a lot that South Africa could also gain from trading with Cuba.
“In the main it will be what they produce in terms of their chemicals, medical products coffee. A lot of people are not aware that Cuba produces outstanding coffee. But perhaps most of all it is the training that Cuba invests in her people. That is the lesson we can take with ourselves back to South Africa. It is through the investing of her people that Cuba has survived and continues to survive going forward,” said Fubbs.
According to Fubbs, Cuba could serve as South Africa’s gateway to the Caribbean and South America.
“We have got embassies here, and we already have missions in South America but how great it would be if we could use Cuban shipping from the coasts of Africa to store and warehouse goods here in Cuba so that they are closer to the South Americas. So I do believe there is much more we can do as South African and Cuba. I think this is a great opportunity for south Africa to share what is has with Cuba and to deepen the relationship we have,” she said.
South Africa is hosting a pavilion at the Havana International Fair that is currently underway in Cuba. The Havana International Fair is the most general trade fair in Cuba and the Caribbean as well as one with the most representatives from Latin America.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE