South Africa: SA, Cuba Discuss Economic Assistance Package
8 November 2012
Pretoria — Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies met with the
Vice-President of the Cuban National Institute of Water Resources, Aymee
Aguirre Hernanddez, in Cuba, to discuss implementation of the Economic
Assistance Package that South Africa is providing to that country.
The institute will on behalf of the Cuban government, be responsible for
the purchase of the rare raw material and resins, from South Africa, to
manufacture pipes in Cuba.
"The pipes are destined to be used for expanding Cuba's water
infrastructure such as drinking water and irrigation pipes. Cuba will
use the first tranche of the R70 million of credit line that South
Africa will advance for this transaction," the department said in a
Minister Davies said that the production of the pipes in Cuba, using
rare raw material and resins from South Africa will lead to the
expansion of Cuba's manufacturing plants in the medium to long term.
Davies added that the South African supplier also intends to expand its
production of raisins to meet Cuba's demand.
"This will create job opportunities in South Africa and once Cuba has
repaid the R70 million it will be able to access the second tranche.
This will boost our efforts to achieve a bilateral trade target of 160
million rand in the near future," said Minister Davies.
According to the Economic Assistance Package that South Africa is
providing Cuba, facility C consists of R210 million for credit lines in
two tranches of R70 million and R140 million.
Minister Davies also met with the Ministers of Foreign Trade and
Investment, Construction, Steel and Machine Industry, and the deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The meetings discussed how to improve trade and investment relations
between the two countries. In this regard they have agreed to exchange
information on existing and future business opportunities.
South Africa's exports to Cuba have been uneven over the past eight
years from 2004 to 2011; increasing significantly from R2, 2 million in
2004 to R82, 3 million in 2008, but declined to R1 million in 2009.
Exports recovered to R2.2 million in 2010 and R2.4 million in 2011. In
2012 (January-July) exports stood at R256 000.
Meanwhile, Minister Davies left Cuba on Wednesday for Jamaica.