Economy, Globe, Latin America, World

S. Africa and Cuba: joint ventures

In spite of the huge geographical distance setting them apart, these countries are working towards boosting their economic and commercial links, and raise them to the excellent level of their political relations.

Rodolfo Salomón

This is evident in successive visits by specialists, delegation exchange and implementation of bilateral business meetings, the last of which took place this month.

This took place at the National Hotel, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba (CCC) and the Progressive Business Forum, which owns more than five thousand companies.

The entourage from the African country visiting Cuba this month was comprised of some 40 businessmen, and was presided over by the deputy minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Musa Nene and the Progressive Business Forumâ�Ös co-chairman Darl Swanepoel.

This second forum was aimed at contributing to implement, as soon as possible, businesses in sectors already identified, while looking for new opportunities and following them up to achieve the desired results.

Bilateral exchange

Cuba, which exports vaccines, tobacco, rum, “Guayaberas” (typical Cuban loose shirts with large pockets) and other items to South Africa, has a large number of aid workers rendering health services in that country, while 80 physicians from South Africa are trained in the Caribbean island yearly.

The African country supplies machinery, equipment for various branches, chemicals, fertilizers, construction materials, consumer goods and manufactures, including textiles and footwear.

Furthermore, both countries have held talks regarding the adoption of mechanisms aimed at encouraging exchanges of goods and services, such as negotiating and signing a Preferential Trade Agreement.

These meetings contribute a wealth of information indicating opportunities for achieving the effective participation of those enterprises and institutions interested in economic and commercial exchange and collaboration.

The first forum was held during the visit made to Cuba, in December 2010, by South African president Jacob Zuma, who regarded as strategic the economic and commercial association between both countries.

The Minister of Industry and Trade Robert Davies, who accompanied Zuma, said then that there is vast potential for bilateral cooperation and business in biomedical technology, biotechnology, construction, infrastructure, energy and other sectors, which should be exploited. PL

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