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Cuba eyes India help to kick start sugar mills; awaits Narendra Modi push

Cuba eyes India help to kick start sugar mills; awaits Narendra Modi push
Cuba is seeking India’s assistance to modernise its sugar mills after
the end of the US trade embargo, its envoy to New Delhi said, ahead of a
planned visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September.
By: Huma Siddiqui | New Delhi | Published: July 15, 2016 6:05 AM

Cuba is seeking India’s assistance to modernise its sugar mills after
the end of the US trade embargo, its envoy to New Delhi said, ahead of a
planned visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September.
India and Cuba are both members of NAM but commercial ties were limited
due to the US sanctions on the communist country.
But Modi, who will attend the NAM summit in Venezuela, is expected to
lay the ground for a bigger commercial relationship with Cuba in various
sectors including pharmaceutical, healthcare and transport.
Cuba’s ambassador to India Oscar I Martínez Cordovés told FE in an
interview that sugar was the most important product in Cuban economy.
“Earlier we had 160 sugar mills. But we had to reduce the numbers due to
the American embargo. Now, we are looking at India to help us modernise
these sugar mills.”
To meet its increasing gold demand, India could also explore
opportunities in getting gold from that country as well as seek joint
co-operations in copper, nickel and cobalt mining operations.
“There are several areas where the two countries can cooperate. With a
new container port in the expanded Panama Canal and with plans to have a
special economic zone, Cuba can be a gateway to not only Central
America, but to the US and the Caribbean. Logistically we are located at
the best place,” the envoy said.
The Modi visit to that country could show what Cuba has to offer in the
health sector, including high level medical education, bio-tech and
pharmaceuticals.
“Besides tourism, both countries can collaborate in various sectors like
renewable energy, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, Information
Technology, etc.
We are seeking Indian investments in sectors like building and improving
our infrastructure, agro business, IT, electronics, packaging industry
and modernisation of the sugar industry,” Cordovés said.
As reported by FE earlier, during the Cuban first vice-president Miguel
Diaz-Canel’s trip, a senior Indian diplomat had said: “This is the right
time for India to step in and take advantage of the huge opportunities
that are opening up in that country with a population of over 11 million.”
India has approved a Line of Credit (LOC) of $5 million for setting up a
milk powder processing plant, another $2.712 million for setting up a
Bulk Blending Fertiliser Plant project and $ 5.0492 million for
modernisation of injectable products plant in Havana, the Cuban envoy added.
The government of Cuba has presented some projects to Indian government
in sectors like milk products, wind energy and coal generation against
the credit line provided by the government here.

Source: Cuba eyes India help to kick start sugar mills; awaits Narendra
Modi push – The Financial Express –
www.financialexpress.com/markets/commodities/cuba-eyes-india-help-to-kick-start-sugar-mills-awaits-narendra-modi-push/317115/

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