For some Indonesian people, the fact of enjoying a Cuban cigar is something normal. But, what if an Indonesian cigar is to be enjoyed by someone who lives in Cuba? That is what occurred during the reception held at the Residence of the Indonesian Ambassador in Havana (on February 24th) when Lydia Tamboto, importer and proprietor of a cigar shop in Jakarta, presented Indonesian cigars to the members of the Club of Cigar Smokers of Cuba (Club de Fumadores de Cuba) consisting of diplomats, businessmen, journalists and artists, both foreigners as well as of the Cuban community.
Lydia came to Cuba to attend the International Cigar Festival, the 12th “Festival del Habano”, held at the “Palacio de las Convenciones” (Convention Center) in Havana, from 22 till 26 February 2010. Except for attending the Festival, she also brought samples of different brands of original Indonesian cigars to be made known to those who enjoy cigars in Havana and cigar smokers from other parts of the world who are in Cuba for the Cigar Festival.
The cigars that were made known were from five brands of the Indonesian tobacco industry, namely Wismilak, Dos Hermanos, Sultan, Tambo and Gold Seal (mini cigars). Until now, Indonesia has been better known as a country that produces cigarettes. Not many persons know that the Indonesian cigar industry has also developed in the past years.
So far Indonesian cigars may not have been able to reach the level of the Cuban cigar industry that has existed since the 16th Century. Nevertheless, with the quality of the tobacco that has been acknowledged throughout the world and the continuous efforts to promote these, the possibilities exist for Indonesian cigars to compete at an international level. The promotion carried out by the Indonesian Embassy has in any case proven the attempts of Indonesia’s cigars to compete, at least for once, in the “lion’s den”.
The Indonesian Embassy took the opportunity of the visit of the Indonesian cigar businessmen to meet the Commercial Director of “Habanos S.A.” (the Cuban state enterprise that organizes cigar trade) and the Chairman of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce to discuss business and investment opportunities, not only in the field of cigar business but also in other areas with potentials to be developed such as tourism and biotechnology. (Source: Indonesian Embassy, Havana)