Cuba, UK sign agreement to boost cooperation

11:02, July 06, 2011      

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Cuba and Britain signed an agreement Tuesday to boost cooperation and the flow of trade and investments between the two countries, according to a joint statement.

The agreement, which Cuba said was "a step forward" in the bilateral relations, was signed by Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodriguez and British Ambassador to Cuba Dianna Melrose.

It included such topics as climate change, human rights, trade, responses to natural disasters and investments in key sectors in Cuba like tourism.

"It opens the way to strengthen bilateral relations and the relations of friendship and cooperation on issues of mutual importance," said Melrose.

Melrose praised the initiative taken by Cuban leader Raul Castro to start an ambitious reform agenda that seeks to "upgrade" the Cuban economy.

"We admire the fact that President Raul Castro is very focused on updating Cuba in terms of economic changes and we would like to see more exchanges between our countries," she said.

Trade between Cuba and Britain in 2009 was worth 39.2 million U.S. dollars. In 2010, 174,000 British tourists visited Cuba and the number is expected to increase.

Source: Xinhua
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