The Caribbean expansion of Fira
The opening up of Cuba for business has also reached the sector of trade fairs. The Caribbean nation has to satisfy its requirements in the production and services sectors and has chosen trade fairs as the best way to do this. Fira de Barcelona has been able to move quickly and make arrangements with the government of Cuba for the hosting of four important sectorial fairs, thereby becoming the foremost foreign fair organization in Cuba.
The first fair organized in La Habana as part of this agreement was HostelCuba, An International Salon for Hotel Equipment and Tourist Services which presented equipment and machinery for services such as laundry, cleaning and catering for the hotel trade, decoration, kitchenware, textiles and uniforms; wellness and fitness… In short, a replica of Hostelco on a smaller scale.
From the 17th to the 19th May in the Pabexpofair site, 52 international companies came together, half of them Spanish, with others from Italy, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama, and there were 60 governmental organisms or institutions that are the main purchasers and importers, due to the characteristics of the Cuban market.
To encourage business and to take advantage of the opening up of the country’s doors, there was an intense programme of meetings and contacts between the most important local professionals and the governmental purchasers, and foreign companies who want to access the Cuban market, bearing in mind the importance of the tourist industry for the island.
Further events in 2017
After HostelCuba, there is now the Cuban Food Fair, Salón Internacional de Alimentos, Bebidas y Food Services. This is, for the sake of clarity an equivalent of Alimentaria on a smaller scale, which takes place between the 5th and 7th July in the same enclosure.
This new series of sector fairs will be completed in 2017 with two more events: PacGraf, a fair of containers, packages and graphic design, like Hispack in Barcelona, which will be held in February; and Securtec, a show of security systems for dealing with natural disasters and emergencies, which will take place in September.
New business opportunities
“With our expansion in Cuba, we are strengthening our international strategy that we have been pursuing in recent years to extend our presence abroad and above all, to support our international business and generate new business opportunities for the companies that take part in our shows”, said Ricard Zapatero, International Business director for Fira de Barcelona.
The project for expansion in this Caribbean nation forms part of the strategy of Fira, which has taken part in the organization of events in different countries, including Qatar, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey, Canada, Colombia, in some of which it also offers consultancy services on the organization of trade fairs.