China to raise level of economic co-operation

China is expected to significantly deepen its economic relationship with Cuba following a two-day visit to Havana by the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqian, during which a number of agreements were signed on debt, credit lines, sector specific partnerships, and long-term economic co-operation.

The visit, which was described as taking place in a fraternal atmosphere, also enabled a bilateral exchange of views on international issues. Cuban state media reports said that China and Cuba now intend to raise their economic co-operation to the level of their close political ties.

In an interview with the Communist Party daily, Granma, before he arrived in Havana on September 24, the Chinese Prime Minister said that his visit was intended to “intensify the mutual political trust,” create new areas of economic co-operation, and deepen the two countries’ relationship.

During his visit, Mr Li, who met with Cuban President Castro and many senior ministers, oversaw the signing of a number of agreements on economic co-operation. According to the Cuban state media these will increase co-operation between the two countries in a number of areas including renewable energy; medical research; information technology; industrial development; customs security; banking and financial collaboration; and environmental protection.

It was also reported that included was an agreement to cancel Cuban debt, and that four credit arrangements had been put in place for projects including the modernisation of print facilities for the media; the installation of a wind farm; and the creation of a bioelectric plant attached to the Hector Rodriguez sugar mill in Villa Clara. No figures were provided.

In addition, a strategic framework agreement was reached between the city of Chengdu in southwest China, and the BioCubaFarma enterprise group, for the creation of a brain mapping
research project.

Agreement was also reached on updating the two countries’ bilateral economic agenda for the middle and long-term in areas that include co-operation in infrastructure, communications and
tourism, as well as in health services and biotechnology. During the visit, the Chinese delegation, which included business representatives, stressed their interest in reinforcing China’s support in
the financing of infrastructure, including roads and highways, and the construction of airports and ports.

China is Cuba’s second largest trading partner after…

This is an extract from the Caribbean Council’s weekly Cuba Briefing, a leading publication that provides detailed and accurate news on economic, social and political developments inside Cuba to corporate interests with a long term economic relationship with the island.

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