Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, and Cuban Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ricardo Cabrisas took part in the plenary session of the Russia-Cuba Business Forum. The forum, aimed at enhancing the partnership between the two countries’ business communities, is taking place as part of the 20th meeting of the Russian-Cuban Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. Its participants included Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights and Chairman of the Russian section of the Russia-Cuba Business Council Boris Titov, and Director General of Energoimport and Chairman of the Cuban section of the Council Rafael Perez. The business forum participants signed a total of ten cooperation agreements.
Dmitry Chernyshenko noted that Russia and Cuba have been cooperating in trade and economy for many years, which created a strong foundation for strengthening bilateral relations.
“During his meeting with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel last autumn, President of Russia Vladimir Putin stressed that cooperation between our countries is developing in all areas, and these efforts serve to strengthen Russia-Cuba business ties. We expect the Russia-Cuba Forum to result in practical steps to implement projects in construction, digitalisation, banking, agriculture, transport, logistics and tourism. Today, the two countries’ governments are working to create favourable conditions for business, eliminate bureaucratic barriers, reduce taxes and duties, develop the banking infrastructure for smooth servicing of foreign trade contracts, expand reciprocal market access for agricultural products, and build logistics routes that meet our companies’ needs,” Dmitry Chernyshenko said.
He added that Russia is ready to offer comprehensive solutions in digitalisation, share the best experience in the use of advanced technologies in construction, and engage in joint projects in the energy sector, including localisation of Russian production facilities in Cuba. According to Mr Chernyshenko, joint projects in the agro-industrial sector, such as the modernisation of Cuban sugarcane and citrus processing plants, offer vast export opportunities. Retail trade has the potential to become a new area of cooperation, where Russia can offer top quality goods to Cuban citizens.
In addition, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister pointed to an emerging trend in innovative sports, and invited the Cuban side to take part in Games of the Future, a tournament that will attract over two million athletes from across the globe, with 16 disciplines to combine traditional sports and e-sports, as well as VR and AR technologies. The President of Cuba accepted the invitation from Mr Chernyshenko for Cuban teams to compete. Other countries showing an interest in the games include China, Vietnam and others. Teams from 15 countries, including those in the Pan American region such as Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay, have taken part in the Phygital Games and had the opportunity to try their hand in new disciplines.
“With the support from President Vladimir Putin, we are making active preparations for the 2024 Games of the Future international multi-sport tournament to take place in Russia. These competitions at the junction of science, education, technology and sports will combine traditional sports disciplines and advanced digital technology. On behalf of the Russian Government, I am delighted to invite Cuban representatives to join this movement and enrol teams to compete in the tournament. Your athletes will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and compete with the strongest rivals,” Dmitry Chernyshenko said.
According to the tournament organisers, the Agency for the Development of Electronic and Other Sports, Games of the Future can stimulate young people to engage in fitness and sports, as well as to master new technologies. The tournament will take place in Kazan between February 23 and March 3, 2024. Its participants will compete in digital hockey, martial arts, skateboarding, and other disciplines.