On the afternoon of Thursday, September 1, the first cooperation agreement between the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the Republic of Cuba was signed, with the express interest of promoting initiatives and mechanisms that contribute to Cuban economic and social development and progress toward new prospects for regional and international integration.
The agreement, which was signed by CAF Executive President, Enrique García, and the Minister and President of the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC), Ernesto Medina, represents an opportunity as regards financial services and advice, as its main aims include promoting technical cooperation between the parties and laying the groundwork for the future admission of Cuba as a shareholder of the regional bank.
“This is a first step,” the head of the BCC told Granma. Medina added that technical assistance, help training executives, and loans for projects of interest such as infrastructure and the environment, are some of the opportunities offered by the agreement.
“Although we are not a member country, the organization can arrange support through third parties or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Green Funds, which promote the use and development of clean energy. For example, through these institutions we could access funding to help us develop our plans for our economic model, regarding the aim that by 2030, 24% of the energy generated in Cuba will be based on alternatives to oil.”
Meanwhile, CAF Executive President Enrique García, who is on an official visit to the island through September 3, told Granma that talks to forge ties and common agendas between Cuba and the CAF have been ongoing since 2013. The CAF-Development Bank of Latin America is a financial institution that began operations in 1970 and promotes sustainable development and integration in Latin America.
In this sense, García noted: “The agreement we have signed is a letter of understanding to facilitate cooperation, which means that through consultants and other initiatives we can contribute in areas such as institutional quality and productivity.
“We see huge potential in Cuba and we want to help advance in perfecting its economy… this visit demonstrates the desire to build bridges of action that contribute to the knowledge and promotion of strategic sectors.”
Within this context, the agreement also enables the regional entity to work jointly with other international agencies to support the Cuban model, such as the International Investment Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.