“Our ties are based on close friendship”

The current relations between the Republic of Cuba and the Republic of India date from January 12, 1960, when both governments...

What is the extent of bilateral trade between the two nations?

Bilateral trade today is still very limited. It reached an exchange in both directions of about 75 million USD in the year 2017. It is precisely this sector in which both sides are interested in strengthening. The last visit to Cuba of a delegation of Indian businessmen and businesses Headed by the Honorable Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India, His Excellency Mr. Suresh Prabhu, in order to participate in the 35th Edition of the International Fair of Havana--the most important event in Cuba for promoting trade and investment has been an important factor in stimulating the growth of our exchange.

Likewise, the signing of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and its subsequent ratification by the State Council of the Republic of Cuba makes our country become a Founding Member of the ISA and facilitates the possibilities of the installation of systems of solar energy in our country. My country is interested in diversifying its economic-commercial linkages and India is one of the most important international markets in response to its extension, potentialities and the rapid development of the economy.

What are the major exports from Cuba to India, and India to Cuba?

Cuba’s major exports to India are concentrated on drugs, vaccines, among others; as well as tobacco, rum and natural skins. Cuban exports are very small, but India’s exports to the island are higher. They contemplate medicinal products, raw materials and inputs for the Cuban pharmaceutical industry, organic chemicals products, Iron alloys, synthetic sacks and packaging, as well as plastic lids, laboratory utensils and carpets, among others.

What are the possibilities of investment for India in Cuba?

The possibilities of India’s investment to Cuba are broad as the country is currently in a process of updating its economic policy, in which Indian enterprises and companies could play an important role. For this there are regulations and the Law of Investment that creates the favorable conditions for business. Until now we have no Indian investment, however today it is in different phases of execution of several projects, especially renewable energy, and in particular, the installation of a wind farm of a 51 MW, a bioelectric plant, all with credits granted to Cuba by the Indian government. I would say that the possibilities of investment and business cover many areas, including the modernization and expansion of agro-industrial and productive capacities; the development of tourism with its hotel infrastructure; in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry where cooperation with Indian companies already exists; in transport, construction and mining, among others.