Cuba trade chief tells Bury St Edmunds business meeting of ‘Multitude of opportunities for UK firms’ in Latin America

Monica Lopez, Head of UK Trade & Investment, Havana was guest speaker at the Suffolk International Trade Group meeting in The Apex in Bury St Edmunds
Monica Lopez, Head of UK Trade & Investment, Havana was guest speaker at the Suffolk International Trade Group meeting in The Apex in Bury St Edmunds
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The Head of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) for Cuba was among a panel of experts in Bury St Edmunds yesterday evening to help local firms boost overseas sales.

More than 40 firms were due to attended the Latin America event, organised by the Suffolk International Trade Group, a partnership between UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

It was being held as part of the Business Festival 2013, to give firms an opportunity to find out how to boost profits by winning business overseas.

Monica Lopez, Head of UKTI, Havana said: “There is a big demand for renewable energy suppliers in Cuba and across Latin America and the Caribbean and as a renowned hub for the UK’s energy sector, local firms have the experience in renewables these markets are looking for.

“In Cuba the Government are committed to reducing the country’s dependency on fossil fuels and a host of projects have been signed off, including a $55 million investment project to construct a sugar biomass plant.

“And in Trinidad and Tobago the Government have promised increased investment in solar lights for public parks and community centres.

“In Barbados the Government have set a target that by 2020, 29 per cent of all electricity will be generated by renewable energy sources and electricity consumption will be reduced by 22 per cent.”

Other speakers at the event were Head of International Commercial Banking for Lloyds TSB, Mark Dodd, International Trade Adviser for UKTI John Tingle who spoke about the services and funding available for firms though UKTI, and Neil Bird, Business Development Manager for local freight firm Dooley Rumble.

Latin American contains some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies with rapidly growing middle-classes and large competitive domestic markets.

Plus the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil both present significant export opportunities for UK businesses

“The Latin American countries are booming. From Brazil to Venezuela there are a multitude of opportunities available for UK firms,” said Ms Lopez.

“If your product is successful in the UK, it can be successful overseas.”

John Dugmore, Chief Executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “Businesses across Suffolk recognise the world is becoming a smaller place and the opportunities to trade globally are increasing.

“This event provided a superb opportunity for some of those local firms to find out more about the opportunities in Latin America.

“The feedback has already been very positive and with exports from Suffolk growing above the regional average we are confident these new markets will bring real new opportunities.”

To find out how UKTI can help your business expand overseas call: 0845 641 9955; email or visit the website at

To contact the Suffolk Chamber call 01473 680600 or go to