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Beijing, Jun 23 (P L) Cuban Minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, and his Chinese peer, Zhong Shan, have reaffirmed today in this capital the desire to strengthen bilateral ties in the economic and trade area between the two nations.

Delegations of the two countries met at the headquarters of the Ministry of Commerce to celebrate the 29th session of the Cuba-China Intergovernmental Commission for Economic and Trade Relations, where they reviewed the several fields of cooperation, as well as the challenges throughout the process of collaboration.

Zhong stressed the constant strength and mutual trust in the policies and the economic-trade relations existing between the two states, as well as the development of the common interests in the ties of cooperation.

Cuba is China’s first trading partner in the Caribbean region, while Beijing has also become the Caribbean island’s first trading partner globally, he said after expressing his satisfaction with the bilateral ties in that area in recent years.

In my opinion, cooperation in this area is very good in general terms, and I have the prospect that it will be better in the future, he stressed.

Zhong proposed to strengthen the compatibility and exchange of the economic and commercial policies and deepen cooperation in the construction of infrastructures such as airports, ports, docks, roads, telecommunications as well as hotels and tourist facilities.

He also suggested further expansion of the bilateral trade and investment, and expressed his government’s willingness to import more Cuban products to this country, which, he said, are well received by Chinese consumers.

There is a good basis and conditions to encourage reciprocal investment. China is ready to provide the necessary facilities for trade and bilateral investment, he said.

The Chinese minister also called for strengthening the exchange and training of personnel, including officials, technicians and professionals of the Cuban government in this nation.

Malmierca stated that as a result of an intense and previous exchange and conciliation of the main issues affecting the relations in the economic sphere, both sides ratified common purposes and reached important agreements.

Events that have fostered these ties have taken place in recent years, he said.

He recalled that the special session of the intergovernmental commission was held in 2015 in compliance with one of the agreements reached during the visit to Cuba of Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in 2014.

Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, traveled to the island in 2016 and during his stay there, about 50 governmental, ministerial and business agreements that covered several sectors of the economy were signed.

He also stated his optimism regarding Chinese company investments in Cuba and explained that the renminbi or yuan (Chinese currency) has already been gradually used in financial relations.

It reaffirmed Cuba’s interest in being capable of gaining access to the financing funds the Chinese government has made available to the Latin American and Caribbean region to promote the productive capacity and investments of this territory in the countries of the area.

At the end of today’s meeting, both sides signed several cooperation agreements.

Since his arrival in Beijing yesterday, Malmierca and the accompanying delegation have held meetings with Chinese companies and banks.