Amid the celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese visitor to Cuba and the opportunities for economic and trade relations the new foreign investment law approved on Saturday in the island opens, OnCuba spoke with Hiroshi Sato , Japanese Ambassador to Cuba.
Since 1959, Japan was one of the main trading partners of Cuba outside the former socialist countries, having its peak in the 1990s, when trade reached 250 million dollars a year.
Hiroshi Sato Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Cuba
“Until the 1990s Cuba had a good business relationship with Japan but due to the political problems of the time, they were gradually getting worse. At present, political relations are good enough to expect that trade grows significantly, even if the United States maintains an economic blockade. I hope that we can grow a lot in that direction, “the Ambassador said.
What are the prospects for Japan with the new Law on Foreign Investment in Cuba?
“We are very excited about the approval of the investment law. I think with this, the doors of Cuba are open to a new look outwards. In Japan there are many companies and firms which are talking positively about it and are keen to participate as partners.
There are also prospects for approaching the Special Area Development Mariel, but still the Japanese side has not been able to assess its ability. “
In addition to Mariel, what other business opportunities you country has considered?
“Japan also has interests in the fields of agriculture and medicine. In the case of Cuban medicine, due to its high level, there are some ideas of collaboration for mutual benefit. In agriculture, there is a history that shows how the assistance from our country greatly favored this branch in South Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia, and we long that will happen in Cuba the same way.
“We hope that economic openness is truly wide open, if so, the Cuban economy could highly benefit.”
How do you think the law will impact on the Cuban economy?
“If the opening is as wide as expected, it will automatically call the foreign investment and it is likely to increase Cuban exports. That’s going to directly affect the economy and will lead to new economic relations with other countries, “he reiterated.
For: Elcira Martínez Adán