Exhibition showcases Cuban trade, tourism and health care
People visiting the Shanghai Hongqiao Import Commodities Expo and Trade Center will see an exhibition of Cuban products ranging from rum and coffee to lobsters and sea cucumbers.
Some can be purchased online by scanning QR codes.
The exhibition is a part of the "Charming Cuba" Promotion Week launched at the center's Shanghai International Sister Cities Hub on Friday by the Shanghai government's foreign affairs office and the Consulate General of the Republic of Cuba in Shanghai.
The exhibition also features an introduction to Cuba's high-end biomedical industry and its attractive tourist resources.
This event aims to showcase Cuba's unique tourism industry and world-famous biomedical industry, along with its specialty products, further strengthen Shanghai's economic and trade relations and industry cooperation with Cuba, and solidify the long-standing friendship between China and Cuba.
At the opening ceremony of the two-week promotion event, Kong Fu'an, director-general of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, recalled the history of Sino-Cuba ties and the sisterhood between Shanghai and Cuban cities.
Cuba was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China 63 years ago. In 1996, Shanghai became a sister city of Santiago Province, where the largest Cuban port is located. In 2019, it established a friendly cooperative relationship with the Cuban capital Havana.
"Over the past few years, pragmatic cooperation between Cuba and Shanghai has yielded fruitful results and our cultural exchange has been in full flourish," he said.
"The imports of Shanghai from Cuba reached 66.43 million yuan in 2022, with a year-on-year growth of nearly 150 percent. Among the imported goods, there are cigars and lobsters of high quality, which are very popular in Shanghai."
Zhang Guohua, deputy director-general of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, said Cuban enterprises have invested 13 projects in Shanghai, covering industries including tourism, catering, culture, arts and textile, with a total investment of US$ 214 million.
Meanwhile, Cuba has participated in the China International Import Expo for five consecutive years, showcasing strengths in agriculture, industry, architecture, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and other areas.
Mario Alzugaray Rodriguez, deputy head of mission of the Embassy of Cuba in China, said the event "will help our Chinese brothers and sisters to have a better knowledge about our country, a friendly and hospitable destination with rich cultural characteristics."
Mileidy Aguirre Diaz, consul-general of Cuba in Shanghai, said: "China is today, and will continue to be in the future, one of the main destinations for Cuban exports".
The Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai is one of the exhibitors, presenting food and drinks at the exhibition.
"I am super excited to be part of this exhibition to share some of our products with people," said Mark Stephen Kirk, general manager of the hotel.
"The Chinese market is the most important market for us. What we try to do in the hotel is to share the Cuban culture with the Chinese market to make it more exciting."
He said the hospitality industry in China is recovering well.
"In the past May Day holiday, we had one of our most successful days since the hotel opening," he said. "I think now is probably the best time to get involved in the hospitality industry. The future, especially for the Chinese hospitality market, is going to be amazing."
After the opening ceremony, around 40 Shanghai enterprises engaged in commerce and trade matchmaking activities with representatives of Cuban entrepreneurs to explore more potential for development in Shanghai-Cuba economic and trade fields.
The promotion activity will run through May 19. More food manufacturers from Cuba will travel thousands of miles to Shanghai to engage in trade matchmaking activities with Chinese enterprises.
If you go:
Date: through May 19, 10am-5pm
Venue: Shanghai Hongqiao Import Commodities Expo and Trade Center 虹桥品汇
Address: 1988 Shenkun Rd 申昆路1988号