The Binational Mexico-Cuba Chamber of Commerce was created with an eye toward being an ally to Mexican companies wanting to expand trade and investment on the communist island at a historic moment after the strengthening of bilateral relations.
“We’re seeking to become an ally of companies in closing business (deals). Also having greater participation in the Mexican business sector, and not only in the export area, but also in the … opportunities for investment that turn up” in Cuba, the president of the organization, Beatriz Barreto, told EFE in an interview.
In this way, the private organization, which began operations in 2015, is seeking “to strengthen commercial relations” between nations and foster “strategic associations” within the framework of the relaunching of relations by the two governments in 2012, when Enrique Peña Nieto came to power in Mexico and put an end to more than a decade of tension.
The organization functions as a civil association and received government – although not financial – support so that it could establish itself in just a year.
It is looking to expand its influence and last November, for example, members of the Chamber visited Havana and signed three “important” letters of intent in the health, culture and education sectors.
The tourism opening on the island, which was visited in March by U.S. President Barack Obama, implies a trade benefit not only for Mexico and other countries seeking to do business in Cuba, the head of the organization – which has several offices in Mexico – said.
During this new phase in Mexico-Cuba diplomatic relations – which date from 1902 and, although they have never been interrupted, have gone through highs and lows – Barreto said she did not want to focus only on the economic realm.
In 2014, Mexico and Cuba achieved a trade balance of $374 million USD, 89 percent more than a decade before, but Mexico’s share of that total was $362 million USD in exports. EFE