HAVANA, October 31. /TASS/. Trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Cuba is dynamically developing in different directions, according to Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov.
"Relations between our countries are developing very dynamically, especially in such areas as automotive and transport engineering," he said at the opening of the Russian exposition at the 35th Havana International Fair FIHAV-2017.
"We hope to reach major projects in the field of railway development in Cuba in the near future," Deputy Minister said. In addition, according to him, modernization of Cuban metallurgical Antillana de Acero plant will continue, cooperation in the field of chemical and light industry will be enhanced.
"Today, Russia and Cuba are effectively building a strategic partnership; our cooperation is carried out in a variety of areas. It is based on a rich historical friendship, mutual respect and interest," Russian ambassador to Cuba Mikhail Kamynin said.
According to Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, the trade turnover between Russia and Cuba has grown significantly in recent years, which is facilitated both by the political will of the leadership of the countries and by the provision of loans by Russia. He noted that Russian and Cuban enterprises are implementing large-scale joint projects in such areas as energy and transport, primarily railway.
According to the National Office of Statistics of Cuba, in 2016 the trade turnover between Russia and Cuba grew by almost 18.9% year-on-year to $223.5 mln. In September, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at a meeting of the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental commission that by the end of 2017 it is expected to reach a level of $400 mln.
More than 70 countries participate in FIHAF 2017 fair, which opened on Monday in Havana. FIHAV is the largest trade and industry forum in Cuba and the Caribbean. The Russian Federation is one of the main participants of the Havana Fair. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov heads the Russian delegation this year.
Russia is represented by several dozen companies from different sectors of the economy, including Rosneft, Zarubezhneft, Russian Railways, GAZ Group, Avtovaz, KamAZ, Transmashholding, and others.