WSFA TV, Montgomery, Alabama
Posted: Nov 20, 2007 04:45 PM
MONTGOMERY - Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks announced that agribusiness leaders from Alabama participated in the Havana International Trade Fair on November 3rd - November 8th. Representatives from the state's agricultural and pharmaceutical industries were in Cuba promoting poultry and poultry products, lumber and forestry products, soybeans, feed grains, and medical supplies. The Havana International Trade Fair is the largest product showcase in Caribbean America. The venue presents an excellent opportunity to build on trade exports to Cuba and also with other foreign buyers attending that represent more than forty countries.
"The EXPO was another great success for Alabama products," said Commissioner Sparks. "We have been so fortunate that our agriculture industry has been able to benefit from exporting to Cuba."
Some of the products included in the agreements from the EXPO include poultry, forestry products and soybean oil. Alabama forestry suppliers will receive orders for 15,000 utility poles valued at approximately $3 million as well as significant orders of newsprint. Poultry suppliers are contracting for over 12,000 tons of chicken valued in excess of $7 million. Large volumes of soybean oil processed in Decatur, AL will also be under contract for shipment.
While attending the EXPO, Commissioner Sparks was able to introduce one of Alabama's newest shipping carriers, three new lumber and forestry companies, an Alabama feedstuff company, and representatives from the pharmaceutical and medical supply industry to Alimport and other Cuban government officials.
During the EXPO, Commissioner Sparks was able to meet with Cuba's Foreign Trade Minister Raul Ramirez, Chairman of Alimport Pedro Alvarez, Minister of Cuban Agriculture and Fidel's brother Ramon Castro, and Cuba's new Ambassador to the United States Jorge Bolanos.
Also in attendance at the EXPO were Nebraska's Governor, agriculture commissioners from Georgia, Minnesota, and Virginia, and companies representing 20 states and over 40 countries.