HAVANA News Update – The governments of Cuba and Russia signed an agreement Wednesday to create a joint venture for the production of batteries, the first business in the industrial sector jointly undertaken by both countries and which will operate in early 2017, according to media Officers.
The agreement was signed in Havana by Cuban Vice Minister of Industry Jose Gaspar Álvarez and his Russian counterpart Georgiy Kalamanov during the VI session of the Ministry of Industry working group, according to a report by the Cuban Information Agency.
It is an agreement of economic-commercial and scientific-technical collaboration aimed at advancing the implementation of this joint venture, which will be added to other bilateral projects “successfully led,” said the Cuban deputy minister.
Álvarez highlighted the commercial, investment and cooperation advances achieved between Russia and Cuba in areas such as civil aviation, metallurgy, construction of heavy machinery and special machinery, transportation, chemical and light industry.
He also mentioned the process of modernization of the steel mill Antillana de Acero in Havana, projects of the railway sector, a fertilizer plant and the updating of the textile, footwear and chemical industry of the island.
Meanwhile, the Russian Government representative stressed the importance of the bilateral projects after signing the agreement and hoped that other ministries and companies in his country “will continue to join in the collaboration with Cuba.”
In recent years, both countries have tried to re-establish the close cooperation between Russia and Cuba before the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991, and two years ago Russia condoned 90% of the island’s debt .
Kalamanov also participated on Monday at the opening of the 34th Havana International Fair (FIHAV 2016), where businessmen from both countries will study new business opportunities and options to expand bilateral and commercial cooperation to other sectors.
Two other agreements aimed at modernizing the sugar industry and airport services on the Caribbean island were also signed at that meeting.