NEW DELHI: India has extended support to Cuba by giving a Line of Credit (LOC) of Euro 100 million to facilitate them to buy rice from India.
This is in continuation of efforts from India to support Cuba. Until now LOC worth $248 million has been extended by India to Cuba for developmental work.
"Out of the LOC extended by India to Cuba for developmental work, $2.712 million has been given for bulk blending fertiliser plant, $5 million for Milk Processing Plant (ALIMPEX), $5.092 million for modernisation of injectible plant (LABIOFAM), $ 90.3 million for Power Cogeneration Project at Sugar Mill (AZCUBA), besides other projects,’’ according to the Indian Embassy in Havana.
The other projects include renewable energy projects like a Wind Energy Farm project and solar power projects.
Diplomatic ties between India and Cuba were established in 1959 as India was amongst the first countries to recognise Cuba, after the Cuban revolution. The Indian embassy opened in Havana a year later and since then the two countries have maintained strong diplomatic relations.
"The two nations have just concluded the second round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Havana following which India extended a Line of Credit (LOC) worth Euro 100 million to Cuba to buy rice from India. The Indian side was led by Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Saurabh Kumar and the Cuban side was led by the vice-chairman of foreign affairs Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo,’’ according to MEA.
During the FOC, the bilateral relations were reviewed which included developmental partnership project, trade and commerce and cooperation in renewable energy, health, yoga and traditional medicine and cooperating in the UN.
‘’In a goodwill gesture, the Cuban government has release a postal stamp to commemorate 75 years of Indian independence,’’ according to MEA.
However, bilateral trade has been moderate. The main items of Indian export to Cuba are pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals, plastic products, medical equipment, engineering goods, textile products, metal products, mineral oil products and tools. Imports from Cuba primarily comprise of pharmaceutical and tobacco products.
In 2010 India set up a India Cuba Knowledge Centre which has trained over 1900 Cuban professionals in different stream. A hockey turf at the National Scholl of Hockey was created in 2018, for which India donated $1 million.