Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Russia offers Cuba 55 cooperation projects worth $4 bln

Russia offers Cuba 55 cooperation projects worth $4 bln
27 September 2016 TASS
The projects are to be implemented in 2016-2020.

Russia has offered Cuba 55 bilateral cooperation projects with a total
value of about $4 billion, Russia's Deputy Minister of Economics Nikolai
Podguzov told TASS on Monday.

"Cuba was offered 55 projects to be implemented in 2016-2020, totaling
almost $4 bln," the Russian deputy minister said after a meeting of the
working group for trade and economic cooperation and priority projects
of the Russian-Cuban Intergovernmental commission for trade and
economic, scientific and technical cooperation, which was held in Cuba's
capital of Havana.

Growth drivers
"Given the change in the commodity market climate, we need to find new
drivers for economic growth and reduce our dependence on commodities
exports," the Russian deputy minister stated. Taking into consideration
"the establishment of a new economic agenda in Russia" he believes that
Russian and Cuban economics complement each other.

"We are offering Cuba indispensable industrial equipment, infrastructure
development options that can build a good foundation for economic growth
on the island state," Podguzov noted. He added that "these are important
projects for the development of Russia's economy as well." That is why,
in his words, "both sides have been taking a pragmatic approach towards
these projects that can help Russian-Cuban relations reach a new level."

"In the first nine months of the current year, there was significant
growth in trade turnover following a clear-cut decline, and the
implementation of these priority projects could help strengthen this
positive trend," the deputy minister said.

Priority projects
Podguzov said projects in the energy, railway infrastructure,
information technology, aircraft industries are those taking priority,
saying that "substantive efforts were being made" concerning their
implementation. Meanwhile, all these projects involve exporting Russian
goods to Cuba. In particular, the investment company Sinara Group is
going to export locomotives and deliveries are likely to begin in 2017.
The transport machine-building company, Transmashholding, will export
passenger railcars, the energy corporation Inter RAO plans to partake in
constructing the Maximo Gomez and East Havana thermal power plants'
power units and also to upgrade the operating power units of Cuban
thermal power plants. RusHydro, the hydroelectricity company, is already
participating in a tender for the construction of 16 small hydroelectric
power stations. The Ivekta company plans to export to Cuba roadbuilding
equipment and various vehicles, Rosinformexport has prepared a project
on the creation of e-government in Cuba while Uralkhimmash is ready to
build a park for the storage of liquefied hydrocarbon gases.

At the meeting of the working group, Cuba also revealed a number of
projects that it was ready to implement. First and foremost, these
projects concern pharmacology and medicine. Cuba has created some
promising medications and seeks to introduce them to the Russian market.
In this regard, Russia's deputy minister of economics promised to
organize contacts between the Russian and the Cuban Ministries of Health
in order to facilitate the development of cooperation in this sphere.

Key issue
"The key issue for all these projects is securing their financing,"
Podguov said. According to him, most often funding is provided through
Russian bank loans under the safeguards of Russia's Agency for Export
Credit and Investment Insurance products (EXIAR).

In Podguzov's opinion, "the options for assurances need to be defined
together with EXIAR so that Russian banks can provide loans for
purchasing goods and thus clinching these deals." He also said that "the
range of projects that EXIAR will support is rather wide." Russia's
deputy minister expects that these projects will soon get underway with
EXIAR's help which will improve the situation in selected Cuban industries.

On the whole, Russia's deputy minister of economics sees many
opportunities for exporting Russian industrial goods to Latin America
"including various equipment as well as aircraft industry and energy
projects." The deputy minister was confident that the countries of the
region "could be potential buyers of Russian goods, but it is important
to carefully design the financing schemes for the projects since Russia
does not always offer competitive conditions, in the pre-export
financing field, in particular.".

First published by TASS.

Source: Russia offers Cuba 55 cooperation projects worth $4 bln | Russia
& India Report -

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