Under-Secretary Mario Giro held the first session of a series of bilateral Italo-Cuban policy talks yesterday with his Cuban counterpart Deputy Minister Rogelio Sierra Diaz.
Their discussions foregrounded economic collaboration, with Cuba’s expression of a desire to expand the Italian cooperative experience and illustration of investment opportunities on that Caribbean island, encouraged by incentives for start-up businesses.
Special attention was then given to cultural cooperation – a traditional strong point in bilateral relations – and university exchanges and how to give them a decisive push. Other points of discussion were some development cooperation initiatives that included a restoration project in Old Havana in collaboration with the IILA, and an IAO food security intervention in the coffee sector.
After reviewing regional policy themes, discussions turned to global crisis theatres, particularly those of Syria and Libya.
Under-Secretary Giro also met with Deputy Minister for Culture Fernando Rojas, Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade and Investments Ileana Nunez and historian of Old Havana Eusebio Leal, with whom he discussed specific bilateral operational themes.