Chinese companies look closely at the changes in Cuba

Like every year, the country’s largest fairgrounds, EXPOCUBA, rents its pavilions to Cuban and foreign exhibitors looking for new business opportunities, collaboration, and investment. According to the official website of the event, the XXXII International Trade Fair of Havana FIHAV 2014 has surpassed its previous editions, with two thousand entrepreneurs from over 60 countries.

At the Fair is the Chinese company Nantong Xin Li Ji, responsible for the supply of the popular SOYEA decoder boxes, which began trading in the retail network of Cuba last August as part of the process of digitization of the television signal in the country.

The company president, Gu Junqiu, spoke to OnCuba about his company’s products and business prospects with Cuba.

In your showcases we can find a wide assortment of goods. What is Nantong Xin Li Ji? What is your area of expertise?

Our company is a trading exporting miscellaneous hardware, wide range products, all for a price, food, household products, among others; and also holds the exclusive rights of representation and MIDEA and SOYEA companies in Cuba.

Is it the first time participating in FIHAV?

No, it is not, last year we had a stand of ten meters, with a smaller display of products. Notwithstanding this, it was a success, so we decided to open a Trade Office in Cuba as a sign of our commitment to our partners.

The Commercial Representation Office in Cuba is still pending approval by the Chamber of Commerce of the Island. We want that, among other functions, can be responsible for providing clients business meetings, consultations, help in sales operations, service after sales maintenance, among other services.

What are the main projects of your company in the country?

Nantong has over five years of trade relations with Cuba, during which it has gathered a large portfolio of clients within the business that are subordinate to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, as CONSUMIMPORT, and others such as TRD, Cimex SA, Copextel SA

Despite the growing volume of business with Cuba, there is still a stigma with Chinese products. On several occasions, presenting our catalog we have been approached with concerns about the quality of the offer. Nantong has proposed eliminating these doubts within our potential customers, by bringing the Cuban market high-end products, from leading companies in their respective sectors.

Is that the case with SOYEA and MIDEA?

Indeed, SOYEA is a regional leader in the Chinese digital technology. The top box that has been sold to Cuba is one of several references of this renowned brand. This year, we have brought to the Fair SOYEA TV HD, up to 52 inches; a new model of decoder box, with more features and a TV with integrated decoder system.

Meanwhile, MIDEA is the leading company in China for electrical and cooling systems, and one of the first worldwide. It has 126,000 employees and a dozen plants outside China. Their average turnover is in the billions a year, and advocates for expanding into new markets. The MIDEA products have quality and undeniable prestige, and already have some level of acceptance among Cubans, which makes us very happy. The demand for fans, air conditioners and refrigerators last summer indicate that is the case.

What do you think of the new Foreign Investment Law?

Cuba is experiencing a time of change. The Chinese businessmen look closely and welcomed the steps the country is taking to optimize their business relationships. This new law opens an important area for investors: Cuba is an untapped market, with an enviable position, with many possibilities, take advantage, development and bring benefits to this beautiful country and to those who choose to bet on new business portfolio presented at the fair.

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