The Guardian 21 February, 2007

India and Cuba extend exchange

HAVANA: India and Cuba have agreed to increase their exchange in the use of eolian energy, sugar cane, biotechnology and scientific cooperation, as part of the 6th Intergovernmental Joint Commission.

The minutes of the meeting were signed by Anand Sharma, Indian foreign relations minister, and Marta Lomas, Cuban minister of foreign investment and economic cooperation.

The document contains New Dehli’s decision to condone the accumulated interest on Cuba’s trade debt to that country and reprogram payments on the principal.

Moreover, the Indian side decided to increase its scholarship to 50 within the technical cooperation program for the benefit of Cuban experts the highest level granted to a Latin American country.

It was also agreed to organise a course on eolian energy in that country for 15 of the island’s specialists. For its part, Havana offered the visitors its knowledge of energy production based on sugar cane bagasse, given that India — with 400 factories — is the largest world producer of this line.

The parties reached an understanding via which Indian companies are to prospect and drill for oil on shore in national blocs, as well as Cuba-Petróleos doing the same in India.

The Indian ONGC-Videsh Ltd Company, in association with other foreign oil enterprises, is currently undertaking off-shore prospecting work in the island’s exclusive area in the Gulf of Mexico.

The text also reflects the cooperation between the two countries in the biotechnology sphere, given that it was agreed to study variants to avoid third parties in Cuban imports of Indian medicines.


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