On July 21, Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz and Ahmed M. Al-Ghannam, director general of the Saudi Development Fund’s export program, signed two important agreements in the economic arena.
The first involves a Saudi loan to finance a project in the city of Cárdenas to rehabilitate the water supply and treatment system. The Development Fund will provide a long term advance of 120 million Saudi riyals (29.1 million USD) annually to construct a new main conduit and distribution networks to allow the distribution of potable water throughout the city located in the province of Matanzas.
The new water infrastructure is linked to a secure source and will contribute to maintaining a sanitary supply to the city, as well as improve storm drainage, according to the document signed in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment’s Havana headquarters.
Cuba’ has the experienced technical personnel to complete the work, but needs financial support for the acquisition of materials, equipment, components, and spare parts for heavy vehicles, the document notes.
Malmierca reported that also planned are the construction of a storm sewer system and a waste water treatment plant.
“Cuba’s collaboration with the Fund began in 2010; the signing of these accords testifies to the will of both parties to continue with the economic collaboration,” he added.
The other agreement signed July 21 addressed the provision of credit for Cuba to import Saudi products.
This will be done via the Development Fund’s Saudi Exports Program, which will facilitate the acquisition of approximately 50 million dollars worth of goods.
The Saudi director, Al-Ghannam, for his part said that the agreements signed are meant to consolidate commercial and financial cooperation between the two countries, and reaffirmed the Development Fund’s intention of strengthening relations with Cuba.
The loan agreement is the fourth signed by the Saudi Fund and the third linked to the development of water supply infrastructure in Cuba, while the commercial credit agreement is the first of its kind.
Also attending the signing ceremony were Cuba’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Enrique Enríquez, and the Saudi chargé d’affaires in Havana, Abdulkareen M. A. Helal.