MAK­ING NEW FRIENDS

Business Today - - THE BUZZ FOCUS - -Anilesh S. Ma­ha­jan

AS CUBA OPENS up to the world, es­pe­cially US, In­dia also sees busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties. In­dia’s trade with Cuba is a mere $ 38.89 mil­lion, and cov­ers pri­mar­ily ex­port of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts, or­ganic chem­i­cals, and rub­ber ar­ti­cles. This is much lower than the $ 300 mil­lion trade that ex­isted when the erst­while Soviet Union pro­vided freight and re-in­sur­ance op­tions be­tween In­dia and Cuba. The ban on club­bing trade to Cuba and other parts of North Amer­ica re­sulted in a dras­tic drop in ex­ports to Cuba. Com­merce Min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu, how­ever, has set the ball rolling for trade in au­to­mo­biles, low- cost phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, large en­gi­neer­ing projects, tex­tiles, and ITeS. Be­sides act­ing as the part­ner coun­try in the Ha­vana Trade Fair in early Novem­ber, New Delhi may also rope in Ha­vana for dis­cus­sions on the Indo- Cari­com (Caribbean Com­mu­nity) Fair Trade Agree­ment.

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