HAVANA, August 28  – Representatives from 12 Belgian companies are in Cuba to explore opportunities for trade and investment, Cuban official media said Thursday.

The Belgian delegation traveled to Havana for a business forum with Cuban firms and promoted “strategic alliances” for the development of telecommunications, construction, logistics and agriculture, the state-run AIN news media agency reported.

“With this mission, in addition to promoting bilateral commercial links, we aim to make Cuba a bridge to other markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, within a very favorable context as the Antillean nation opens to the world,” said Guy Bultynck, president of the Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

Belgian firms are interested in the 246 projects the Cuban government has identified as priorities for foreign investment and joint ventures, Bultynck said.

The forum concluded Thursday with an invitation to the Belgian delegation to participate in the 33rd Havana International Fair, Cuba’s main business conference, set for Nov. 2-8.

Belgium is Cuba’s sixth-leading European trading partner and ranks 15th overall, AIN said.

Cuba imports powdered milk, lubricants and other chemicals from Belgium, while exporting petroleum derivatives, coffee and honey to the European nation.
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