The trade value of Indonesia and Cuba increased by more than 870 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. The Indonesian Embassy in Havana, through a press release in Jakarta, Thursday (31/12), stated that the total trade between Indonesia and Cuba in 2020 reached US $ 54.9 million. This is a sharp increase compared to 2019 which only reached US $ 6.3 million. This increase was supported by the export of several Indonesian products to Cuba, including margarine, textiles, shoes, paper, soap and tires.
Indonesian Ambassador to Cuba, Nana Yuliana said that the opportunity for Indonesia to send more goods to Cuba was still wide open, given the high demand and need from local people. Therefore, Indonesia and Cuba are expected to enhance bilateral relations in a more strategic direction in 2021. For that matter, bilateral relations of both countries in the fields of medicine, education, economy, trade and sports will continue to be strengthened.
Indonesia also hopes that the relationship between Cuba and the United States can improve so that the Cuban economy can develop and there are many opportunities for open economic and trade cooperation. According to Ambassador Nana, the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States gave hope to US-Cuba relations so that the Cuban economy would become better and more open, which could provide an opportunity for Indonesia to enter the Cuban market. The Indonesian Embassy emphasized that Indonesia is always consistent in encouraging countries to lift sanctions and economic blockades against Cuba in international forums. She also conveyed some of her hopes regarding strengthening relations between Indonesia and Cuba in 2021.
On one hand, both countries are expected to immediately finish discussing the diplomatic and service visa-free agreement, and encouraging cooperation in the field of biotechnology, especially in dealing with the threat of a health crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, there is a need to promote Indonesia more intensely through a people-to-people contact approach by creating an Indonesia digital corner on Cuban campuses for millennial groups in addition to sports cooperation between Indonesia and Cuba.