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Cuba turns to old allies Russia & China for trade and investments -report

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel report says is starting off a three-day official visit to Russia on November 1. This is in continuation of Havana's latest efforts at re-establishing trade ties with Moscow, a tradition going back to Soviet times.

During the visit, Diaz-Canel will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. After the visit to Moscow, he will continue his trip to China, Vietnam, North Korea and Laos respectively.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov revealed that Moscow and Havana have inked deals worth more than $260 million, adding that more new agreements are expected to be reached soon.

Among the agreements was a contract to deliver 837 rail cars to Cuba in 2019-2021 and supplies of 15,000 LED lamps and their parts manufactured in Russia.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on modernizing energy units in Cuba as well as upgrading a metallurgic plant.

“We are modernizing three energy units worth nearly $100 million, and are on the second stage of modernizing a metallurgy plant - that’s around $60 million, as well as supplying rail cars to the tune of over $100 million. These are serious contracts,” said Borisov after the two countries’ joint commission’s 16th session in

Russia’s biggest carmaker AvtoVAZ plans to supply more than 500 of its Lada cars to Cuba.

In January, the company delivered more than 300 vehicles which was the first shipment of Russian cars to the Latin American country after almost a decade hiatus.

Moscow plans to continue signing contracts with Cuba, according to Borisov.

“Our project on modernizing Cuba’s railways is vital and in high demand,” he said, adding there are still some issues to be solved, including tax benefits for Russian enterprises.

Russian Railways (RZD) is in talks with Cuban authorities to upgrade over a 1,000km (600 miles) of railroads. The company is also planning to build a high-speed railway connecting Havana and the beach resort of

In 2017, private Russian company Sinara Transport Machines delivered the first batch of 75 locomotives worth $190 million. Truck maker KAMAZ has also stepped up exports to Cuba with 2500 vehicles shipped, including lorries and trailers.
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