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Cuba interested in Azerbaijani investments

Cuba interested in Azerbaijani investments
6 February 2017 17:31 (UTC+04:00)230
By Nigar Abbasova

Cuba is eager to see a flow of Azerbaijani investments in the Caribbean
country and ready to provide all necessary and advantageous conditions
to reach the goal.

Cuba’s Ambassador to Baku Alfredo Nieves Portuondo said that his country
is interested in Azerbaijani investments, as well as in an integrated
cooperation with the country. The envoy announced about this while
addressing a meeting with a delegation led by President of Caspian
Energy International Media Group Natalya Aliyeva.

In 2014, the Cuban government implemented significant reforms directed
at promoting foreign investment and adopted a relevant law, opening up
more opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs. Here, investment is
allowed in all economic sectors, including utilities, administrative
concessions, real estate (purchase, sale and leasing of houses and
offices), hotel management and professional services. Also, the country
announced creation of a free economic zone.

Portuondo further said that the two countries could cooperate in the
sphere of agriculture, as Azerbaijan has always been famous for its
agricultural development.

“If we could create a joint Azerbaijani-Cuban company in the field of
agricultural production, it would notably promote the development of the
bilateral relations,” he noted.

Cuba, which has succeeded in manufacture of the newest medicines and
biotechnologies, is also ready to offer its medical services and supply
products to Azerbaijan.

“We can also talk about cooperation in the field of medicine,
healthcare services and pharmaceutical industry. It is also possible to
conduct exchange in the field of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Cuba
already has such experience with other countries,” he noted.

Today, Cuba renders medical services to the countries of Latin America,
Europe, Africa, Middle East, Russia and other CIS.

The ambassador further highlighted a great potential for the energy
cooperation, mentioning rich experience of Azerbaijan in this area.

Cuba possesses undiscovered oil fields in the Cuban part of a shelf in
the Gulf of Mexico, and Azerbaijani companies could participate in their
exploration and further development.

The ambassador said that the country produces about 4 million tons of
heavy oil per year, mainly in the north of Havana, while there is a
triangle which belongs to Cuba in the Gulf of Mexico. “Currently, we are
conducting extensive exploration surveys jointly with the companies from
Norway, Russia, Vietnam, France and Brazil, which use the technology for
producing oil from deep horizons. The surveys show the presence of oil,”
he said.

The ambassador further noted that tourism sphere can surely become one
of the important directions of cooperation, adding that tourism industry
of Cuba is one of the developed in the world.

Some 4 million tourists visited Cuba in 2016. The sector is expected to
boom further in Cuba over coming years, as the government seeks to bring
the number of visitors to over 10 million in 2030.

“We have been invited to take part in the tourism exhibition in Baku. If
we can confirm our presence and participation in this exhibition, it
will be the first ever in the Cuban history participation in a tourism
exhibition in Azerbaijan,” he said.

Portuondo also invited Azerbaijani companies to exhibitions dedicated to
foreign trade and tourism in Havana.

The envoy also noted that the Azerbaijan-Cuba political relations are at
the very high level, and diplomatic efforts will focus on boosting the
trade and economic cooperation.

The diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Cuba were established on
March 27, 1992. Eight documents covering various fields have been signed
since then.

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