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.
Anilesh S. Mahajan