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Italian Economic Diplomacy – 16 November: latest news from the world

Indonesia: Jakarta hosts the ASEAN Infrastructure Investment Forum

Jakarta hosted the ASEAN Infrastructure Investment Forum, an event dedicated to large infrastructure projects in ASEAN countries organised as part of the Indonesia Infrastructure Week. The forum aimed to present to the private sector the new Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, which sets out a 3.3 billion dollar investment in infrastructure in the ASEAN Countries, broken down into five areas: sustainable infrastructure, digital innovation, logistics, legislation and mobility of people. The most interesting initiatives set forth in the plan include the completion of the ASEAN Highway Network (with projects mainly in Laos and Myanmar), installing a 255 km railway line from Phnom Penh and Peang Sre and another 129 km railway line between Loc Ninh and Ho Chi Minh City (in Cambodia and Vietnam), several feasibility studies for the Singapore Kunming Rail Link in Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia, the connection between the port of Dawei (Myanmar) and Kanchanaburi (Thailand), the development of ports for RoRo transports and navigable routes along inland waterways.

Cuba: 34th FIHAV International Fair kicked off in Havana

The 34th FIHAV International Fair was held in Havana from 31 October to 5 November. This year’s edition set a record number of exhibitors – over 3,500 on an exhibition space of almost 30,000 sq m – bearing witness to the appeal that Cuba continues to have on businesses worldwide. The Fair also offered the opportunity to present the third edition of the “Cartera de oportunidades” (“Portfolio of Opportunities”), which was passed after the approval of the 2014 law on foreign investments and which contains the list of projects considered to be strategic and that are open to foreign investors. This year the list consists of 395 projects in a variety of sectors for a total investment of approximately 9.5 billion dollars. The Plan also promotes activities that generate revenue in hard currency for Cuba: first the provision of medical services but also the possibility to bolster exports in addition to the Island’s traditional rum and cigar exports. Lastly, another of Cuba’s priority is to promote the Mariel Special Development Zone, for which 19 projects have been approved to date.