Hugoson's Cuba trip reinforces trade ties
Wednesday, November 21, 2007 8:55 AM MST
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson
concluded his Cuban trade development trip earlier this month after
visiting the 25th annual Feria Internacional de la Habana, Cuba's
largest commercial trade show.
The trip helped reinforce trade relations between Minnesota and the
While in Cuba, Hugoson met with Pedro Alvarez Barrego, chairman and CEO
of Alimport, Cuba's government purchasing agency in charge of purchases
of U.S. food and agricultural products.
The Cuban official confirmed his ongoing interest in building stronger
trade ties with Minnesota's agricultural community.
"Minnesota has a very positive reputation in Cuba for the quality of
the agricultural products we have to offer and for the relationships
that have been built," Hugoson said. "Senor Alvarez expressed his
commitment to expanding trade with our state and stressed the importance
of maintaining strong personal ties."
Minnesota exported $18.3 million of agricultural products to Cuba in
2006. Since the state's first introduction to the market in 2002,
Alimport has purchased soy, corn, wheat, DDGs, milk replacer, dry edible
beans and livestock from Minnesota.
Although this was Hugoson's first visit to Cuba since 2002, MDA has
cooperated with and offered assistance to various individuals and
companies seeking to build business in the market. The commissioner and
MDA's international marketing staff used this opportunity to reestablish
ties with Alimport officials and discuss mutually beneficial activities
for the future.