The signing of five agreements over a six year period between Cuba and the Saudi Arabian Fund for Development shows the interest both have in strengthening trade links, something particularly highlighted by the last two agreements on the development of the Island’s water system.

The parties recently signed a loan agreement to finance a rehabilitation project for the water supply and disposal systems in the city of Cárdenas.

The signing of five agreements over a six year period between Cuba and the Saudi Arabian Fund for Development shows the interest both have in strengthening trade links, something particularly highlighted by the last two agreements on the development of the Island’s water system.Rodrigo Malmierca, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, and Ahmed M. Al-Ghannam, General Director of the for the Saudi Arabian Development Fund Export Program, signed the agreements.

It has been agreed that the Saudi Arabian Fund will offer long-term credit worth 29 million dollars to guarantee the construction of a new water pump and mains to supply drinking water to the city of Cárdenas, which is situated close to the beach resort of Varadero.

To this end, secure sources will be exploited in order to improve and protect public health, the sewage system is to be revamped and a drainage system and new sewage treatment plant will be built.

The Cuban side can supply qualified personnel for the execution of the project but needs financing for the acquisition of materials, equipment and spare parts.

The second financing agreement will facilitate the importation of goods to the value of 50 million dollars from Saudi Arabia and is to be repaid within five years.

This is the fourth loan granted by the Fund and the third to be used in the water sector, but the financing agreement is a first.

Malmierca thanked Saudi Arabia and emphasized the long-term financing and “its excellent conditions.” He added that the credit will permit the construction of new facilities.

The Cuban official also said that “beyond the substantial figures involved, what matters are the friendly bonds that join the two countries, and their willingness to cooperate and share.”

He said that the first contracts for the supply of agricultural equipment had already been signed, something that will contribute to the development of bilateral trade.

The General Director of the Saudi Arabian Development Fund Export Program spoke of the importance of consolidating cooperation in the trade and development sectors, and expressed his appreciation for the special support of Cuban Ambassador in Saudi Arabia for his contribution to the signing of these agreements.

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