The International Fair of Havana (FIHAV) ends todays in Havana, Cuba.
The Fair’s objectives include increasing foreign investment, promoting trade links between Cuba and the rest of the world and showcasing foreign products and services to Cuba’s business community.
Cuba is currently experiencing a deep economic crisis due to the rising cost of imports, shortages of essential goods such as food, fuel and medicine and a tourist industry still hobbled from the Covid-19 pandemic. In September, Hurricane Ian knocked out the entire island’s electrical grid and ravaged Pinar del Río, the country’s main tobacco growing province. In response, Cuba’s government announced that it had signed 30 foreign investment deals worth $400 million to jumpstart the economy and promised to streamline its business processes to attract foreign investors.
The Fair will likely lead to a short-term increase in private foreign investment and increase the likelihood of Cuba signing more foreign investment deals in 2023. Nevertheless, Cuba’s economy will likely underperform compared to its neighbors in the coming years due to ongoing U.S. sanctions and long-term underinvestment in transportation and energy infrastructure. If increased effort and investment is made to solve these structural issues, Cuba’s economic crisis may lessen in the coming years as global inflation recedes and tourism returns to its pre-Pandemic levels.
Kyle is a Publisher and Analyst on the Analysis team. He specializes in foreign policy and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a particular focus on Mexico and Central America.