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Latino Daily News

Sunday June 17, 2012

India Looking to Increase Trade Relations, Investments in Cuba

India Looking to Increase Trade Relations, Investments in Cuba

Photo: Foreign Ministers S.M. Krishna (India) and Bruno Rodriguez (Cuba)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The foreign minister of India, S.M. Krishna, said his country wishes to increase investments and economic relations in Cuba, where he is on an official visit, local media said.

“Our political relations are excellent, but we must give greater economic content to those ties,” the foreign minister of India, who arrived in Havana last Thursday, told the official news agency Prensa Latina in a statement.

Krishna mentioned the need for Indian companies to invest in Cuba and for organizations from the island to increase their presence in his country.

In that sense, he announced that India’s commerce and industry minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, will travel to Cuba in July to “open new horizons” in bilateral economic cooperation.

“I’m really impressed by the things going on in Cuba,” the Indian minister said on state television with regard to the process of economic reforms being promoted by the Raul Castro government to “modernize” Cuban socialism with measures such as the opening to the private sector.

Krishna made his statement after a meeting with the speaker of the National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon.

The head of the Cuban parliament said on television that during the meeting they spoke “at length” about “the possibilities of greater participation by India in the efforts Cuba is making to adjust its economy.”

Bilateral trade between India and Cuba reached its highest level in the 1980s when it topped $300 million annually. It currently stands at around $50 million a year.

According to official 2010 figures, the most recent available, in that year trade between the two countries reached some $54 million.

At present the principal ties between India and Cuba are being developed in the fields of sports, energy, biotechnology and information technology.

As part of his agenda in Havana, Krishna held official talks Friday with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez and plans to meet with other authorities.

His program of activities also includes visits to places of historical and cultural interest.