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    Cubans Compare Cases from Other Countries


    International Trade Forum - Issue 3/2007, © International Trade Centre

    © CEPEC

    Interview - Olena Navas Pérez

    Technical information and case studies from around the world help this trade promotion leader stay on top of trade trends.

    Olena Navas Pérez is Director-General of the Cuban Centre for Export Promotion. A Trade Forum reader for 25 years, she consults the magazine for technical information about trade and for case studies from other countries.

    Ms Navas also shares useful ideas she finds in the magazine with her contacts in Cuba's trade development networks.

    Q: How long have you been reading our magazine?

    A: Trade Forum magazine was the first specialized magazine that I started reading when I graduated from university and started working in an import-export firm. That was around 1982. From the first issue I read, I've tried not to miss a single edition, so now it's been about 25 years that I've been reading this excellent publication.

    Q: How do you use Trade Forum in your work?

    A: Since I started reading the magazine, I've saved the articles that interested me and classified them by theme. I started by keeping the print editions, and more recently the online versions. So, for example, when I looked through my collection to answer this question, I found articles, which were published in 1984 and are still relevant, on finding suppliers (the January-March issue) and on the general conditions governing sales (from the October-December issue).

    My use of the magazine has been varied. At the beginning, it was mainly to satisfy my appetite to learn about technical aspects of trade that were unknown to me. Today I use the magazine to stay abreast of technical aspects of international trade, compare the experiences of firms and institutions that are similar to CEPEC in other countries and take the best cases as models.

    Q: Do you prefer the print or the online version?

    A: I prefer the print version because I can read it anywhere; it's less tiring to my eyes than reading on a screen and it's easy to carry. If I see an article that interests me, I'll search for the online version on the Internet and store it. Many times when I'm preparing a conference, a speech or just my regular work, I'll consult the Trade Forum articles that I've stored, to get ideas or clarify points.

    Q: Was there a subject or issue of the magazine that was of particular interest, and why?

    A: In these 25 years of reading Trade Forum, my interests have been varied, but staying on top of current trends and practices in international trade has always been a priority. There have been times when reading a technical article has led me to read a book on that theme.

    Q: Are there any subjects you would like to see addressed in Trade Forum?

    A: I'm always looking for information and analysis of technical issues that the ITC experts can offer. So, for example, in a future issue I'd like to see more about the changes to documentary credits since the new rules [known as UCP600] of the International Chamber of Commerce came into effect in July 2007. I'd also be interested in an article on fraud in international trade and what measures small and medium-sized firms can take to avoid becoming victims of unscrupulous people. I think you should always have a section covering these kinds of issues.

    Q: What would be the best way for these articles to reach readers in Cuba?

    A: I think the print magazine works best, because for many it's easier to read and to store.

    Cuba's Centre for Export Promotion

    The Cuban Centre for Export Promotion (CEPEC - Centro para la Promoción del Comercio Exterior de Cuba)) was created in 1995 as part of the restructuring of Cuba's foreign trade. CEPEC is part of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Its main goals are the development, diversification and promotion of Cuba's exports.

    CEPEC offers specialized services to producers, exporters and businesses, mainly those in non-traditional product sectors and service sectors in general, to help them enter new international markets or consolidate and expand their existing share.

    A number of trade specialists work at CEPEC's two main divisions, in marketing and trade information. The Information Centre and the Cuban Fund help with information searches, including a document library and computers with Internet access for all users.

    For more information, seewww.cepec.cu

    Cuban exports

    Sugar exports account for 37% of Cuban exports. While sectors such as tourism and fishing have showed a steady growth, other products such as nickel, tobacco, citrus, cocoa and rum are growing rapidly. The tourism sector is the most dynamic in the island's economy, contributing to the recovery of several other industries as well, among them the food industry, light industry, and metal-mechanics.

    Source: The Cuban Industrial Information Network