Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cuba and China renegotiate debt

Cuba and China renegotiate debt
Published December 21, 2010

Havana – The governments of Cuba and China have renegotiated Havana's
debt to Beijing, which will also extend new credit to the island at no
interest, Cuban state media said.

The rescheduling pact was signed by Cuban Vice President Ricardo
Cabrisas, Banco Nacional de Cuba chief Georgina Barreiro and the vice
president of the China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, known as
SINOSURE, Zhou Ji An, the official AIN news agency said.

The story did not specify the amount of the debt negotiated between Cuba
and China, considered the island's second biggest trade partner after

Cabrisas and Chinese Deputy Trade Minister Wang Chao also signed "an
exchange of notes postponing for 10 years the start of payments on a
government loan."

All the documents were signed during the 23rd Session of the
Intergovernmental Commission, held over the weekend in Havana.

The agreements reached also included economic and technical cooperation,
as well as a project for modernizing the Cuban National Seismological
Research Center, based in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

Cuba and China currently have about a dozen mixed enterprises underway,
seven of them on the island, in the sectors of mechanical and light
industries, communications, agriculture and tourism.

During 2009 their bilateral commercial exchange amounted to around $1.55
billion, a drop of 31.5 percent from the year 2008, when it reached $2.2

Last Saturday, Cuban President Raul Castro told Parliament that the
island has achieved "significant progress" in renegotiating its debts,
and planned to eliminate in 2011 all payment defaults to its trade partners.

For his part, Economy and Planning Minister Marino Murillo said that the
country has renegotiated some $2 billion in debts, a sum that will
basically be deferred until after the year 2015.


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