Informacion economica sobre Cuba

SA, Cuba trade 'below potential'

6 November 2012

There is plenty of room for improvement in the levels of trade and

investment between South Africa and Cuba, Trade and Industry Minister

Rob Davies said at the opening of the South African Pavilion at the 30th

Havana International Fair in Cuba on Sunday.

Eighteen South African companies are exhibiting at the Fair,

representing the capital equipment, electro-technical, mining,

agro-processing, engineering and metals sectors.

Davies noted that the current levels of trade between the two countries

were extremely modest and below what they had been in the past, despite

a number of interventions by both governments.

"But I'm happy to say this year, the 30th Havana International Fair

anniversary is coinciding with the ratification of the agreement which

was reached during the [2010 state] visit by President Zuma."

R350m assistance package

South Africa is providing Cuba with a R350-million economic assistance

package that Davies believes could help to turn the country's trade and

investment pattern around.

The package comprises a R40-million grant for the purchase of seeds by

Cuba, a R100-million solidarity grant, and credit lines of R70-million

and R140-million.

Davies said that Cuba continued to provide training for South African

doctors, as well as vaccines that were used in South Africa's public

health sector.

He added that South Africans should never forget the sacrifices made by

Cuba in helping the country in its transition to democracy.

"If it had not been for the contributions and sacrifices that Cuba made

to the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the impact it had on Namibian

Independence, and [the effect] Namibian Independence had on the

transition to democracy in South Africa, I think we might well find

ourselves battling with the demon of apartheid for several more years,

and possibly a decade longer than we did," Davies said.


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