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Cuba and Japan Willing to Expand Business
Cuban and Japanese entrepreneurs identify in Havana city business opportunities, whuch will strengthen and expand cooperation in key sectors for economic development of the Caribbean nation, such as agriculture, energy and health.

The exchange between government reps and companies from both countries is the first Meeting of the Public-Private Joint Committee, mechanism created this year in connection with the visit of Fumio Kishida, Japan's Foreign Minister to Cuba, who confirmed his country's interest in relaunching relations with this Caribbean market.

At the meeting, Ileana Nunez, Cuba's vice minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, said that bilateral ties are in a favorable scenario for its expansion, among other factors encouraged by the restructuring of the foreign debt and the fulfillment by Cuba of its financial commitments with the Asian country.

The official talked to the large delegation of private and public Japanese entrepreneurs about the Law 118 on Foreign Investment and Mariel Special Development Zone, as examples of attractive opportunities that are now open to Japanese investors interested in providing new technologies to this Caribbean market.

Nunez highlighted the support provided for several years by the International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the development of joint projects in core activities on the island such as rice production and management of solid waste and water in the Bay of Havana .

Yasushi Takase, general director of Latin America and the Caribbean of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed the good state in which bilateral relations are, while he also stressed the willingness of his country to boost economic cooperation at a time when Cuba is getting opened to the world.

He reported that he was accompanied on his visit to the island by 44 representatives from 18 business organizations in the private and public sector as well as government institutions to promote Japanese exports and investments.

In the first meeting of the Binational Committee, the parties will discuss the condition of the projects and joint ventures, their main problems and potential, in order to develop an agenda for more effective and diverse cooperation.

The participation for the first time of Japan at the recent 33rd International Fair of Havana is a s ample of the interest in promoting economic ties. / CNA.

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