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China, Cuba political ties yield economic returns


09-25-2016 10:23 BJT

Full coverage: Premier Li Attends UN Conferences, Visits Canada and Cuba

China and Cuba established diplomatic relations in 1960, and their ties have grown stronger ever since. The two countries now hope their political links will lead to further progress in trade and business.

Comrades, friends and brothers. The ties between Cuba and China go beyond normal diplomacy.

The sixty-plus year relationship is based on the same social institutions. And Cuba is the first Latin American country to set up diplomatic ties with China.

The long-time relationship is now fueling fast-growing trade and investment.

Bilateral trade hit two billion US dollars last year, up nearly sixty percent.

Machinery, steel, and automobiles are major Chinese exports. Cuban shipments include agriculture produce and commodities.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce says the trade volume between China and Cuba continues to expand.

"During the first half of this year, bilateral trade rose 13 percent. Besides, two-way investment also progressed. Many Chinese companies have invested in green energy, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors in Cuba. The two countries' economy is complementary, and I believe we have vast opportunities to cooperate in the future," said Zhang Xiangchen, deputy China int'l trade rep., MOFCOM.

Officials from both countries met in Havana last month and pledged more efforts in improving trade and investment.

Cuban trade officials say Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit will pave the way to advancing the countries' economic ties.

"Premier Li's visit will have great results.  We are getting ready in this meeting to create a good environment to sign deals during his visit. I am convinced as always, that China-Cuba relations will keep strengthening," said Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuba foreign trade and inv't minister.

About 30 agreements are expected, covering a wide range of areas in technology, financing, and industrial cooperation.

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