HAVANA – Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Jaime Garcia-Legaz on Thursday said relations with Cuba are “very positive,” adding that his country is already the island’s second-biggest trading partner.
“Spain has already become Cuba’s second-largest trading partner, displacing Venezuela, and therefore very close to China, which is the island’s major trading partner,” Garcia-Legaz told EFE in Havana.
The Spaniard stressed that Madrid has managed to reactivate its previously sluggish relationship with Cuba and now is seeing concrete results, particularly in trade, which is growing 15 percent annually.
Garcia-Legaz made the remarks after, together with Cuban Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca, inaugurating the 21st Spanish-Cuban Business Committee.
The meeting was organized by the two countries’ Chambers of Commerce and attended by representatives of about 100 Spanish companies.
Before the meeting, the Spanish official met with Malmierca and agreed to launch a binational committee to define investment projects to be carried out regarding the island’s 400 million euro ($448 million) bilateral debt conversion program.
In early May, Cuba and Spain signed an agreement to restructure the island’s medium- and long-term debt.
In October 2015, Cuba’s debt to Spain amounted to 2.44 billion euros ($2.73 billion) and was entirely unpaid.