Cuba and Tatarstan plan closer trade ties

Cuba is interested in being the Latin American outlet of Kamaz construction vehicles and broadening its business and cultural contacts with the Republic of Tatarstan, Cuban ambassador Emilio Lozada García told that country’s President, Rustam Minnikhanov, in Kazan on Friday [Dec. 5].

Cuban ambassador Emilio Lozada García
Cuban ambassador Emilio Lozada García

Lozada headed a delegation of Cuban educators attending a forum of deans of Cuban and Russian universities and marking the 210th anniversary of the Kazan-Volga Federal University.

[For background on Cuba-Tatarstan relations in Progreso Weekly, click here.]

Tatarstan and Cuba have had a longstanding close relationship, Minnikhanov pointed out during the meeting in Government House. Tatarstan delivers to Cuba Kamaz heavy construction vehicles, Tupolev aircraft, Kazan helicopters, automobiles and tires, a trade relationship that should be expanded, the President said.

Only last month, a Tatar delegation visited Havana to sign cooperation agreements, the President recalled.

In addition, Minnikhanov said, cooperation can be mutually beneficial in medicine, pharmaceutics and new technologies.

Lozada noted that Cuba has already registered in Russia a drug that is effective in the treatment of diabetic sores (Heberprot-P) and will supply it to Tatarstan within the next month or so.

President Rustam Minnikhanov
President Rustam Minnikhanov

President Minnikhanov paid particular attention to the expansion of relations in the field of education, an expansion that would allow Cuban undergraduate and graduate students to study in Tatar universities, where Master degrees would be available to them.

The dean of Kazan-Volga Federal University, Ilshat Rafkalovich Gafurov, said that his institution would continue to cooperate with Cuba in the fields of biomedicine, pharmaceuticals, communications, and petrochemicals. He suggested that Cuban high school students be allowed to study in technical schools in Tatarstan.

Lozada also said that Cuba is interested in building a tire factory, for which it would need the assistance of Tatar experts. Tatar cooperation would also be needed in the expansion of Cuba’s bus industry.

The Cuban ambassador delivered an order for two helicopters to the Kazan Helicopter Plant. No details on that purchase were immediately announced.

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