Spanish Prime Minister makes two-day visit to Cuba

World Today

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is in Cuba for a two-day visit. The aim: to promote both political and commercial relations.

CGTN’s Luis Chirino has more from Havana.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was officially welcomed by Cuban Head of State Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday at Havana’s Revolution Palace and it is the first visit by a Spanish government President in the past 30 years.

The two leaders presided over the signing of two memorandums of understanding aimed at establishing regular political consultations, on issues of bilateral and regional interest and the enhancement of cultural collaboration between the two nations.

Spain is Cuba’s third major commercial partner after China and Venezuela and there are some 250 companies operating on the island in the sectors of services and tourism. 

More than 130 Spanish companies attended Havana’s International Trade Fair in November and Spanish officials said the large entrepreneurial presence affirms the interest of the Spanish business community in the Cuban market.

“Spain, as usual, wants to support the Cuban process of consolidation and upgrading of local structures,” said Maria Pena, a delegate of Spain’s Foreign Trade Institute. “I hope and I’m sure that this will be the message by our president in his official visit.”

Marta Puigmarti, Director of Cuban-based Apolo construction materials and tools, also commented on the visit.

“It was due time for a top-level representative of the Spanish government to come, because we are many companies doing business in this country,” Puigmarti said. “We hope this visit will support Spanish companies in dealing with the Cuban government.”

Accompanied by Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel at a business forum, the Spanish top government executive addressed his country’s business community in Cuba:

“The Spanish government will continue to boost investment in Cuba thus contributing to the development of the local economy, the transformation of society and prosperity of Cuba,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Throughout the visit, both governments expressed their willingness to foster political dialogue and boost commercial, financial and investments ties.