Russian and Cuban officials, as well as traders, announced new benefits on Wednesday to attract investors from Moscow to the island market, in a fresh sign that economic ties between the political allies are in a period of rapid growth. are passing through.
The head of the Cuban-Russian business committee, Boris Titov, said at the opening of a forum of Russian businessmen in Havana that Cuba has decisively opened the door to investments from his country.
“They are giving us preferential treatment,” Titov said in a speech at the Hotel Nacional in Havana. He said, “The way is clear.”
Titov noted that Havana had offered Russian companies the right to use Cuban land within 30 years, a privilege rarely granted to foreign companies in the country.
The official pointed out that Cuba would also guarantee exemption of various tariffs to Russian companies for the import of high-tech products and allow the companies to repatriate profits, another important advantage in the island where the economy dominates. State.
“In Soviet times there was a port line and a direct sea link,” he said. “We are analyzing this possibility with the owners of the Cuban ships.”
In recent months, Cuba has sought to attract investors from Russia and other politically allied countries to shore up its ravaged economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic and heavy US sanctions.
Russia, hit by Western sanctions following the conflict in Ukraine, has also moved in recent months to strengthen its economic ties with Havana and other Latin American countries, defying what has been described as a US hegemony.
Cuban Foreign Trade Minister Ricardo Cabrisas told reporters on the sidelines that “no one will be able to stop” the expansion of economic ties between Russia and Cuba.
Bilateral trade between the two countries is set to reach $450 million in 2022, tripling compared to last year, said Sergey Baldin, Russia’s trade representative in Havana, who added that about 90% of the trade will be oil derivatives and Russian soybean sales. Had taken Oil for the island.