Cuba occupies 94th place in Russia’s general foreign trade structure. From January to December 2012, the Russian-Cuban bilateral trade volume increased by 3.8% compared to the same period in 2011 and amounted to $194.9 million, with Russian exports standing at $147.7 million and imports at $47.2 million.
Russia’s main export items are machinery, equipment and transport vehicles (73.2%), chemical products (9%), pulp and paper products (8.9%) and metals and metal products (4%).
Traditionally, Cuba supplies Russia with sugar, tobacco and tobacco products, and rum. The share of foods and agricultural products is 98.8% and chemical products 1%.
The main regulator of bilateral trade and economic relations is the Russian-Cuban Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Research and Technical Cooperation. The previous, 10th meeting of the commission took place in Havana on November 3-5, 2012. The Russian side of the commission is headed by Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, and Vice President of the Cuban Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas represents Cuba. Following the meeting, a series of cooperation agreements was signed, including the Programme for Trade, Economic, Research and Technical Cooperation Between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Cuba Until 2020.
The two countries have actively developed practical cooperation in oil exploration, extraction and processing with the participation of Russian oil companies. Since November 2009, Russia’s Zarubezhneft has taken part in exploring and developing oil fields on four land and marine-based facilities in Cuba. On June 24, 2011 the Russian company joined the production-sharing agreement to conduct experimental and further exploration and secondary oil recovery at the Boca de Jaruco oilfield. In December 2012, Zarubezhneft began well drilling on the Cuban continental shelf.
In April 2012, Russia’s Tupolev and Cuba’s Cubana de Aviacion signed a contract on research and technical support for Tu-204-100E/Tu-204CE planes.
In May 2012, talks were held to sign an agreement for the delivery of modernised Tu-204CM passenger medium-haul aircraft.
On June 29, 2012 a contract was signed for purchasing three An-158 aircrafts in 2012 and the delivery of three more planes of this type in 2013 on a financial lease. In addition, Cuba confirmed its interest in acquiring three Il-96-400 passenger planes with a capacity of up to 350 people from the Ilyushin Finance Co.
In view of the planned aircraft deliveries, one of the cooperation directions could be the purchase of flight simulators for piloting Il-96, Tu-204 and An-158 planes, developed by Transas (St. Petersburg), and spare parts for the purchased planes.
Talks are being held to introduce Russian-made helicopters to the Cuban market.
On November 6, 2012 Havana hosted the fifth joint meeting of the Russia-Cuba and Cuba-Russia business councils, after which a campaign plan for 2013-2014 was signed to develop cooperation in agriculture, energy, healthcare, culture, science, machine-building and construction.
On November 4-10, 2012 the 30th FIHAV-2012 international fair involving over 40 Russian companies took place in Havana. The Russian exposition took an area of over 1,000 square metres.