A state export insurer will begin to collect an unpaid export related payment of $31 million from Cuba that was due seven years ago.
Cuba needed to purchase generators because the country was suffering from an electrical shortage and needed Korean-made power generators and low-energy consuming electronics.
The Korea Export Insurance Corporation said yesterday that the head of the company, Cho Hwan-eik, plans to visit Cuba on Thursday and recoup 2 million euros. That was the payment for tires exported by Hankook Tire in 2001. The amount is 1.4 million euros plus 6-percent annual interests.
Relations were rocky at the beginning. The corporation and the Havana branch of the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency tried to persuade Cuban bureaucrats to pay, but they were unwilling. The country’s electrical shortage got serious two years ago and relations improved. Cuba came to desperately need Korean goods.
Chinese products swept the Cuban market, but Korean-made goods like LG refrigerators and washing machines were much more energy-efficient. Technological development and an energy efficiency grading system aided the sale of Korean products. Korean exports to Cuba jumped sevenfold in the last four years because of surging exports of electronics to Cuba.
Korean power generators are also a necessity in Cuba. Hyundai Heavy Industries has delivered $800 million worth of portable power generators to Cuba since it started exporting them in 2005.