Three Russian banks are interested in opening branches in Cuba, according to Boris Titov, head of the Cuban-Russian business committee, at a bilateral forum organized by the governments of both countries in Havana, according to local Russian media.
Financial institutions, without specifying which ones, have already submitted their requests to the Central Bank of Cuba, Titov said in this Thursday’s report.
The manager also assured that there are also plans to create joint Russian-Cuban banks to finance small and medium-sized companies operating on the island.
Similarly, Oleg Savchenko, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for the Financial Market, told the aforementioned media that Cuba is the first experience, as Russian banks plan to build a wide network of branches in other Russia-friendly countries to counter the sanctions. Is. ,
“Many countries look at Cuba and turn to it. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Venezuela and others are potentially interested in us. Including the world leader in cereals,” Savchenko said.
He also remarked that “at the moment the development of economic relations between the countries is hindered by finance: the sanctions imposed on our banking sector. If this system is in order, our financial organizations will enter these markets, and the Bank of Russia If we support them in this, we will see a fundamentally different development outcome.”
The day also became known that in a bilateral forum between the two countries, Cuba offered Russian companies the right to use the island’s land for a period of 30 years, after Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz this week , acknowledged that the government was unable to meet the food demands of its citizens.
“They are giving us preferential treatment,” Titov admitted in his speech at the Hotel Nacional, in which he said “the way is clear,” because it is a privilege rarely granted to foreign companies in Cuba.
Titov acknowledged during his speech – as quoted by Reuters – that the Caribbean authorities have decisively opened the doors to a rapid increase in Russian investment in Cuba, for which they have significant benefits.
According to the businessman, there are other joint plans with the island, such as the early opening of a store selling Russian products for the population on the island.
The XI meeting of the Trade Committee between Cuba and Russia is a meeting aimed at exploring opportunities for Russian investments in Cuba in sectors such as agri-food, technology or retail trade.
Besides Titov, who is President Vladimir Putin’s commissioner for traders’ rights and one of the most influential authorities on trade issues, the two-day meeting at the National Hotel is being attended by 52 Russian businessmen and women.
Titov said at the opening of the meeting on Wednesday that Cuba had decisively opened the door for his country to invest in the island and that the island would exempt Russian companies from various tariffs for the import of high-tech products. Will also give a guarantee. In addition to allowing companies to remit their profits home, another important advantage in an island with a state-dominated economy.
He also indicated that the Cubans offered mechanisms for returning profits to Russia and speeding up procedures for officializing joint ventures, as well as the possibility of operating in local currencies, the ruble and the Cuban peso.
Another proposed advantage is the establishment of a sea port line, given the distance between the two nations, in the style used when the Soviet Union existed.
“A lot is being done for Russian investors, there are preferential conditions,” Titov said at the opening of the business forum.
In recent months, Cuba has sought to attract investors from Russia and other politically allied countries in an effort to shore up its battered economy.
Russia, also hit by sanctions due to the war in Ukraine, has moved in recent months to strengthen its economic ties with Havana and considers it an ally along with other Latin American countries.
Russia’s trade representative in Havana, Sergei Baldin, said bilateral trade between the two countries is set to reach $450 million in 2022, tripling the previous year.