Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Cuba to Get More Brazilian Investment

April 18, 2013

HAVANA TIMES – Brazil is weighing granting the construction company

Odebrecht a $150 million credit to remodel airport terminals in Havana

and other Cuban cities, reports the Reuters news agency, citing

unidentified official sources.

The report from the British agency, datelined São Paulo, says the credit

would be issued by the Brazilian Development Bank, BNDS. The topic

presumably was discussed during a recent visit to Brazil by Cuban Vice

President Marino Murillo, the manager of the economic reforms undertaken

by President Raúl Castro.

"The financing of the airports is under discussion," and the topic "is

subject to an evaluation by the bank's technical staff," the report

says. Reuters says its unidentified source is linked to the

administration of President Dilma Rouseff.

For its part, the Cuban daily newspaper Granma said that Murillo met

"with Brazilian ministers and heads of state institutions dealing with

agricultural and cattle farming, business, and scientific and

technological development. According to Granma, Murillo also met with

Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota and the Vice President of Brazil,

Michel Temer.

The anonymity granted to the Brazilian informant may have resulted from

the government's stated decision to be discreet about its investments in

various countries, Cuba among them, apparently because of malicious

interpretations by some media.

The Cuban press has reported nothing on the possible cooperation to

modernize the airports. Reuters points out that modern airports are an

essential element of the tourism industry, one of Cuba's main sources of

income. Last year, Cuba welcomed 2.8 million foreign tourists, a record

figure.

Although the Reuters report says that the work could begin in June and

that Odebrecht already has a team selecting the suppliers of the

materials needed to remodel Havana Airport, it also quotes an Odebrecht

spokesman in São Paulo as saying that the company at this time does not

have representatives in Cuba performing such tasks.

Reuters does not specify which of the Havana Airport terminals – the

oldest one or the one built in the 1990s with Canadian aid – will be

remodeled.

It is very true that the Cuban government is working hard to improve

infrastructure. New highways are being built and existing roads are

being maintained. Passenger and freight trains, engineering works that

range from dams and viaducts through several provinces, and the ailing

air fleet that provides national and foreign transportation are some of

the projects selected to boost tourism and the domestic economy.

Reuters is right when it says that Brazil right now is one of Cuba's

principal commercial and financial allies. The BNDS underwrites as much

as 80 percent of the exportation of engineering services and capital

assets by those Brazilian companies that undertake works agreed upon by

national governments. If the reports are confirmed, the cost of the

works done in Cuban airports could amount to nearly $190 million.

http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=91524


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