Cuba to buy food worth $1.6 billion abroad in 2007 – importer
14:12 | 28/ 05/ 2007
BUENOS AIRES, May 28 (RIA Novosti) – Cuba expects to import $1.6 billion
worth of food in 2007, the country's foreign trade company head said
ahead of talks called to secure the daily food supply for the population.
Havana, the capital of the import-dependent Communist island, hosts
talks starting Monday with U.S. agricultural producers, which are Cuba's
main food suppliers along with South American countries, Canada, Europe,
China and Vietnam.
Alimport head Pedro Alvarez said 95% of the imports would be rationed
out to the 11.2-million population at low prices, while 5% would be sold
at foreign currency shops.
Alvarez said Havana expected to clinch deals worth over $500 million
with the U.S. delegation on deliveries of flour, wheat, corn, rice,
poultry and other foods.
Since Washington allowed food to begin being sold to Cuba in 2001 as an
exception to the embargo imposed against Fidel Castro's regime in the
1960s, the country has imported 7.8 million metric tons of agricultural
products from the U.S., hitting a total of $2 billion.