HAVANA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10 is vital to countries like Cuba, said Ricardo Cabrisas, vice president of Cuba's Council of Ministers or cabinet.
"It is a fair with different characteristics, because it is open to the world in terms of what China needs, and that is very important," Cabrisas told Xinhua.
Cabrisas said the expo is something Cuba's business leaders must pay special attention to, particularly those involved in the country's economic and social development programs.
"This fair is open to foreign exporters, and that is one of Cuba's top priorities today -- exports," said Cabrisas, who attended last year's inaugural edition of the CIIE together with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Cuba not only needs to boost its traditional exports, such as rum and cigars, but also needs to create new export opportunities, said Cabrisas.
Chinese companies and institutions are actively participating in Cuba's 2030 National Economic and Social Development Plan, which aims to modernize the island's economic system, he said.
In addition to the fair, Cuba is keen to take part in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative designed to drive global growth through increased trade, said Cabrisas.
"That's another factor, along with the CIIE, that Cuba should take advantage of and that we really are making the most of," Cabrisas said.
At the first CIIE, Cuba was represented by 34 state-owned companies occupying an area of about 136 square meters at Shanghai's National Exhibition and Convention Center.
The companies represented exports in a variety of fields, including agriculture, science and technology, information technology and communications, medical services and biotechnology, culture, construction, trade and investment and services.
Also, a China-Cuba Business Forum was held at the first CIIE to promote bilateral cooperation in foreign investment, tourism, culture and health.