Spanish minister: Cuba’s economic reforms open “extraordinary opportunities”
Published July 07, 2015 EFE
Spain’s minister of industry, energy and tourism said here Tuesday that
the economic reforms being pursued by Cuba’s President Raul Castro “mark
a good route” and open up “extraordinary opportunities.”
“On that road of reforms, Spain and its companies are always going to be
here,” said Jose Manuel Soria in a speech delivered at a working
breakfast with the Association of Spanish Businessmen in Cuba, or AEEC.
Spain knows from experience “that reforms aren’t always easy to adopt,
not always easy to explain and even less easy to understand,” the
minister said. “But in the end, if one continues along the reformist
road, the reforms end up giving results.”
He emphasized that 3 1/2 years ago Spain was mired in “the deepest of
recessions” and, thanks for the reforms undertaken by the current
government, it is the economy that “has grown most in the entire
Eurozone,” with a forecast this year for 3 percent growth and a net gain
“This hasn’t occurred by chance. It’s the fruit of some reforms we had
to make on our own because, if not, we would not have gotten out of the
hole in which we were in, but besides that, we also had to do it because
of the commitments that, freely and voluntarily, all of us who comprise
the (European Union) assume when we are in that organization,” he said.
Regarding his visit to Cuba, Soria said that the aim is to deepen the
bilateral relationship, intensify economic ties and support with the
Cuban authorities Spanish firms operating on the island and also those
who have an interest in the opportunities available in the Caribbean nation.
“I’m going to give you a very clear message: that the Spanish companies
that are coming to Cuba, are coming with the aim of being here, with the
aim of permanence and with the aim of continuing. And they are companies
that want to be here and that have drive,” he added.
During his stay in Cuba, the minister will meet with Vice President
Ricardo Cabrisas, Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo
Malmierca and Mining and Energy Minister Alfredo Lopez Valdes.
He will also hold a meeting with Ana Teresa Igarza, the director of the
Mariel Special Development Zone, one of the main projects under way in
Cuba to attract foreign investment.
Soria traveled to Cuba at the head of an important delegation of 75
companies that will participate in a Finance and Investment Seminar and
a bilateral business conference. EFE
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