Chinese, Cuban tobacco firms sign agreement on cigar trade

 Chinese, Cuban tobacco firms sign agreement on cigar tradeHAVANA, July 24 (Xinhua) — China National Tobacco Corporation and Leading Cuban cigar maker Habanos S.A. signed a letter of intent here on Sunday on increasing Cuba’s cigar exports to China.

China National Tobacco Corporation General Manager Ling Chengxing and co-presidents of Habanos S.A., Inocente Nunez and Luis Sanchez-Harguindey, inked the document in Havana.
According to the agreement, Habanos S.A. can provide assistance to cigar production in China while expanding its cigar sales in the Asian market.

“With the support of the Cuban side and the Chinese side, and the Chinese and Cuban people, I am sure that Cuban tobacco is going to do very well in China,” said Ling, who doubles as the director-general of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration — the regulator of China’s tobacco industry.

Cuba, maker of some of the world’s finest cigars, has a substantial share of cigar and cigarette sales in China, accounting for more than half of sales by volume and some 70 percent of sales by revenue.

Habanos, a joint venture between State-owned Cubatabaco and Altadis, and the French-German affiliate of British multinational firm Imperial Tobacco, earned some 450 million U.S. dollars in revenue last year.