Tourism on the cards as Australia seeks links with Cuba

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TRAVEL GAZETTE – At a business forum held in Havana this week, officials and entrepreneurs from Australia and Cuba sought to expand and diversify their economic links in fields such as renewable energy, agriculture and biopharmaceuticals.

The Australian government wants to be an attractive investment partner for Cuba, and jointly develop projects in areas of tourism, farming, infrastructure, energy and mining with sustainable, environmentally friendly technologies and practices, said Andrew Robb, special envoy of the Australian government.

He highlighted Cuba’s improving financial reputation in the international market after renegotiating debts to major creditors such as the Paris Club, an informal group of officials from creditor countries including Australia.

On his part, Orlando Hernandez, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba, stressed the opportunities for foreign investment, Cuba’s economic incentives and its renewed portfolio of business opportunities.

Cuba’s economic reforms makes the Caribbean nation an increasingly attractive destination for foreign direct investments, said Robb.
The thawing process between Havana and Washington has attracted global attention, he said, adding that Australian entrepreneurs do not want to be left behind.

In 2015, bilateral trade between Cuba and Australia stood at 10.1 million U.S. dollars, less than 1 percent of Australia’s total trade volume.

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