You are in:
  • Send

Spain and Cuba agree to foster trade relations and R&D+i investment

Monday 2 November 2015

​The Spanish Minister for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, and the Cuban Foreign Trade Minister, Rodrigo Malmierca, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation containing such measures as providing an efficient institutional framework and identifying priority sectors for mutual collaboration. In terms of R&D+i, Luís de Guindos and the Cuban Science, Technology and Environment Minister, Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, signed a partnership agreement with the Spanish CDTI containing a commitment to provide financing for projects of common interest in previously identified sectors, among other measures. Both these agreements will be valid for a period of five years.

The commitment in terms of economic cooperation establishes the creation of a Working Group on Trade and Investment (Spanish acronym: GTCI) aimed at providing an institutional framework to enable further development of economic relations between Spain and Cuba. Besides improving trade relations, it seeks to identify new areas for cooperation and offer recommendations for avoiding any obstacles that may arise as they develop.

The objectives also include promoting the transfer of knowledge and exchange of experience, facilitating business missions and the exchange of experts, including the organisation of study visits between the two countries, and supporting the establishment and development of contact between Spanish and Cuban companies. Bilateral investment and economic flows will also be fostered in accordance with the respective national laws and regulations of the two countries.

The working group will be chaired by the Cuban Foreign Trade and Overseas Investment Minister and by the State Secretary for Trade of the Kingdom of Spain. Its duties will include overseeing progress on that provided for in this memorandum, assessing bilateral economic relations and presenting recommendations to the competent authorities in the two countries aimed at fostering and facilitating trade and investment. Its objectives will include identifying any problems representing an obstacle to trade and investment and bilateral economic cooperation, and recommending measures to the authorities designated in the two countries to resolve these problems.

As regards the partnership agreement with the CDTI in terms of R&D+i, the two countries are committed to promoting the development of projects by financing those that are declared of common interest. These projects will be developed within the framework of a Bilateral Technology Cooperation Programme, which will particularly respond to criteria linked to the degree of innovation in each one of the two countries, the financial capacity of the partners for developing the project, the degree of commitment from the parties and the impact on the economies of each one of the two countries.

The projects will need to be technologically innovative and undertaken between companies and institutions of the two countries in one of the following priority areas: Information and Communication Technologies; Agri-food; Biotechnology; Electronics; Logistics and Transport; Chemicals; Climate Change; and Renewable Energies.