HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — Officials from Cuba and the US state of Louisiana signed in Havana, for the first time, memoranda of understanding in the agricultural and port sectors.
One of them was signed between Cuba’s National Port Administration (APNC) and the Association of Ports of North America, which includes facilities in New Orleans and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The second was signed between the Cuban Agricultural Business Group and the Louisiana’s Department of Agriculture and Forests.
John Bel Edwards, governor of Louisiana, and his accompanying delegation of 57 people, on Monday began a visit to Cuba that will end on Friday, and the documents were signed after discussions on business opportunities and foreign investment on the island.
“We are interested in mutual commercial exchanges,” Edwards said during the meeting, and in that regard he announced that his government’s legislature has approved a resolution to propose the executive the reestablishment and strengthening of the association with Cuba in order to take advantage of the new opportunities in its market.
Edwards expressed his solidarity with Cubans for the consequences of the imminent crossing of Hurricane Matthew through the eastern side of the island.
Maria de la Luz B’Hamel, director of commercial policy for North America at the Cuban ministry of foreign trade and investment, concurred with Edwards with respect to commercial exchanges and the strengthening of economic bonds.
However, she warned about the persistent negative impact of the economic, financial and commercial embargo of the United States for more than 50 years.
As part of the program, the visitors will meet with representatives of the ministries of agriculture and public health, as will visit the exclusive development area of Mariel (ZEDM) and the Fructuoso Rodriguez Agrarian University in the neighbouring province of Mayabeque.