Following back-to-back positive meetings with China, Iran, and now Russia, the Deputy Minister of Economics Nikolai Podguzov told the Tass news agency that Russia has offered Cuba $4 billion in 55 bilateral cooperation projects. This mega project news indicates the relationship between Cuba and Russia, once strong, is back on the burner. The implementation of these infrastructure projects is set to begin this year until 2020.
The Cubans and Russians have been involved in trade talks for the last couple of years enhancing bilateral relations between the two nations and signing cooperation agreements. This past week Cuba’s BioCubaFarma and the Skolkovo Center signed an agreement to import Cuban pharmaceuticals to Russia. An intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of atomic energy was signed just yesterday in Vienna at the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference.
In this deal, a host of priority projects including badly needed: infrastructure, information technology, energy, and industrial equipment, all essential for economic development. There are many more sectors included in the bilateral agreement. The deal works both ways, to develop the economy of the Island and to benefit the Russian economy by way of exports to Cuba. The article follows:
“Russia has offered Cuba 55 bilateral cooperation projects with a total value of about $4 billion, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Economics Nikolai Podguzov told TASS on Monday.
“Cuba was offered 55 projects to be implemented in 2016-2020, totaling almost $4 bln,” the Russian deputy minister said after a meeting of the working group for trade and economic cooperation and priority projects of the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental commission for trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation, which was held in Cuba’s capital of Havana.
“Given the change in the commodity market climate, we need to find new drivers for economic growth and reduce our dependence on commodities exports,” the Russian deputy minister stated. Taking into consideration “the establishment of a new economic agenda in Russia” he believes that Russian and Cuban economics complement each other.
“We are offering Cuba indispensable industrial equipment, infrastructure development options that can build a good foundation for economic growth on the island state,” Podguzov noted. He added that “these are important projects for the development of Russia’s economy as well.” That is why, in his words, “both sides have been taking a pragmatic approach towards these projects that can help Russian-Cuban relations reach a new level.”
“In the first nine months of the current year, there was significant growth in trade turnover following a clear-cut decline, and the implementation of these priority projects could help strengthen this positive trend,” the deputy minister said.
Podguzov said projects in the energy, railway infrastructure, information technology, aircraft industries are those taking priority, saying that “substantive efforts were being made” concerning their implementation. All these projects involve exporting Russian goods to Cuba.
List of Russian companies in Cuba:
- Sinara Group: the investment company – to export locomotives and deliveries, likely to begin in 2017
- Transmashholding, transport machine-building company, to export rail cars
- Inter RAO, energy corporation plans to partake in constructing the Maximo Gomez and East Havana thermal power plants’ power units and also to upgrade the operating power units of Cuban thermal power plants
- RusHydro, the hydroelectricity company, already participating in a tender for the construction of 16 small hydroelectric power stations.
- Ivekta company plans to export to Cuba road building equipment and various vehicles
- Rosinformexport has prepared a project on the creation of e-government in Cuba
- Uralkhimmash is ready to build a park for the storage of liquefied hydrocarbon gases
Source: Tass News Agency