The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) has opened a trade center in Havana, Cuba, one of the world’s last socialist countries.
The two nations have yet to establish diplomatic relations. That brings KOTRA’s branches to 105 in 75 countries.
KOTRA expects the trade center to help Korean companies penetrate the Caribbean and increase Korea’s trade volume with Cuba from the current US$150 million to $500 million.
Korean automakers like Hyundai and Kia hold a 30 percent share in the Cuban car market, while electronics manufacturers LG and Daewoo have a 70 percent market share.
Cuba has the most developed medical and bio industry among Central and South American countries since it has intensively nurtured the sector to overcome a shortage of medical supplies resulting from decades of a U.S. blockade.
Cho Young-soo, who heads the Havana Trade Center, says there are plentiful business opportunities for Korean companies in Cuba, an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean. Korean companies could focus on consumer goods since the country imports most of them, he added.