Brazil grants Cuba credit for food programs

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-9-1 11:00:43

Brazil and Cuba have signed here an agreement of $200 million credit to support food programs in the island country, local TV said Friday.

The agreement, aimed at boosting the cooperation ties between the two countries, was signed by visiting Brazilian Minister of Development,Industry and Foreign Trade Fernando Pimentel and Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz on Thursday.

According to the accord, the credit will be released in three phases, the first in 2012 and the other two in 2013, to be used to fund export of Brazilian agricultural machinery and other inputs for Cuba's food programs.

Food programs have been considered an issue of "national security" by Cuban leader Raul Castro, who met the Brazilian minister Thursday.

During their meeting, Castro and Pimentel vowed to further strengthen the "increasing development of the bilateral ties of the two countries," the Cuban TV reported. Brazil is currently Cuba's fifth trade partner.

During his visit to Cuba, Pimentel visited facilities of the port of Mariel, 50 km west of Havana, where the Cuban authorities are planning to construct the biggest container terminal in the Caribbeans, partially covered by an $800 million credit granted by the Brazilian government.

During the tour, Pimentel offered Cuba his country's legal support to build a regulation framework for a future "special zone" to attract Brazilian companies.

The Brazilian minister also visited the Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana and assessed the possibility to boost the cooperation between the institution and its counterparts in Brazil.

The Brazilian minister said that "there is a great horizon at sight for the biotechnological cooperation between the two countries."

Posted in: Americas

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