AFD finances first development project in Cuba

AFD finances first development project in Cuba

237/5000 AFD Latin America and Caribbean Department Director Hervé Conan (C) and Cuban Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca (D) Sign Agreement in Havana, November 20, 2017 / AFP Yamil Lage

HAVANA, Nov 20 (EFE) Cuba and the French Agency for Development (AFD) signed a credit agreement in Havana today to finance a cooperative development project worth 25 million euros (29.3 million euros) in the province of Camagüey, in the center of the island.

This livestock project will be the first to be financed by the AFD since it opened its office in Havana, last year, in order to develop cooperation programs in the Caribbean country.

The project is designed to support livestock development in Camagüey, a province with a long tradition in the sector, in search of sustainable growth, increased production and the sale of meat and milk, official media reported on the island.

The initiative is co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (FIDA) and the counter-value Franco-Cuban.

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment of Cuba, Rodrigo Malmierca, said after signing the agreement on Monday that the resources will be used “efficiently”.

The director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the AFD, Hervé Conan, indicated that projects were also presented for the renewal of two workshops in the railway sector.

“We will continue working and supporting Cuba in state initiatives and with the loan to public companies,” added the director of the French agency.

The AFD and its subsidiary Propargo received the green light from the Cuban government in January to start activities in Cuba that will allow the French Agency to offer and provide financial and technical assistance to investment projects on the island with long-term loans.

The Cuban authorities have recognized the importance of this collaboration with France aimed at developing a strategic area for the island that needs to increase food production, as well as other sectors such as infrastructure construction and renewable energy.

From the official visits in May 2015 of the then President Francois Hollande to Cuba and the Cuban President Raul Castro to France, in February 2016, bilateral relations received a boost and agreements have been signed in areas such as finance, tourism, trade, agriculture, transport and development aid.