CEOE CEO Antonio Garamendi participated in a lunch with Spanish businessmen in Havana, chaired by S.M. the King, and in which the acting minister Josep Borrell also intervened; the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, José Luis Bonet. The business meeting was held within the framework of the visit of SS.MM Los Reyes to Cuba, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the Havana Foundation.

On Monday, the 11th, the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez; the director of the Presidency Cabinet of CEOE and permanent secretary of CEIB, Narciso Casado, and the general director of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, Inmaculada Riera, participated in a meeting to analyze the situation of Spanish companies on the island. Subsequently, Narciso Casado and Immaculada Riera met with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba, in which the president of the Chamber, Orlando Hernández Guillén and the director of International Relations, Celia Labora, spoke. The meeting served to analyze business and investment opportunities, as well as the possibilities of bilateral cooperation.

S.M. meeting the King with Spanish businessmen

During the business lunch, moderated by the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez, S.M. The King, Felipe VI, expressed his full support for Spanish businessmen in Cuba and said they are the living presence of Spain on the island, "a sister and friend nation." The Monarch also highlighted the work of the authorities to help Spanish companies cope with current difficulties and stated that "nothing that happens in Cuba is foreign to Spain and nothing that happens in Spain is foreign to Cuba" .

For his part, the CEOE CEO, Antonio Garamendi, stressed that the act represents a unique opportunity for Spanish businessmen to convey the strong commitment they have for Cuba. Of this interest, he said, they already testify about 300 companies established on the island, with a historical record reached last year of 971 million euros and a stock of 375 million. "These figures put us at the forefront of foreign investors, with a significant presence in strategic sectors such as tourism, where our companies manage more than 30,000 hotel beds," he said.

Garamendi also highlighted the great work of the Spanish administration and the constancy it has shown when it comes to strengthening Hispanic-Cuban relations, as well as the great work it has done to enhance the internationalization of Spanish companies, especially in the current context of uncertainty, in which determination is key to the success of business operations. Proof of this, he reported, are the official visits made in recent years to Cuba, which have resulted in numerous economic collaboration agreements and the activation of instruments such as the countervalue fund, to boost the development of business projects on the island .

“Even for me, who has been in charge of the CEOE for less than a year, is the second time I have visited this land, after having accompanied President Pedro Sanchez in November last year on his trip to Cuba, leading a delegation of 400 companies Spanish, ”he said. In this sense, he assured that Spanish businessmen know how to value in a very positive way the strong harmony reached between the Administration and Spanish companies. A relationship, he continued, that acquires special relevance in a difficult context like the current one, marked by increasing difficulties for our companies, as a result of non-payments and the extraterritorial effects of the Helms Burton Act. Therefore, in statements made from Havana, he wanted to show his firm support to all the affected companies and urged the authorities to continue working on the same line to consolidate the business presence in Cuba.

He concluded his speech by showing the full disposition of CEOE and the Hispano-Cuban Bilateral Committee, of which he is a member with the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and concluded his intervention by showing the full disposition of CEOE and the Hispano-Cuban Bilateral Committee, of which He is a member with the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and the Chamber of Spain in Cuba, to continue strengthening bilateral business relations and help overcome the difficulties faced by Spanish companies.

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