In a joint mission to Havana with Undersecretary of State for Economic Development, Ivan Scalfarotto, Deputy Foreign Minister Mario Giro signed bilateral debt treatment Agreements with the Vice President of Cuba’s Council of Ministers, Ricardo Cabrisas, implementing the Paris Club Multilateral Understanding signed in Paris on 12 December 2015 by Cuba and 14 creditor Countries.
The Agreements signed in Havana aim to strengthen the political, economic and commercial ties between Italy and Cuba also in the light of the important opportunities for Italian companies in the prospected large infrastructure and commercial projects planned for the Island. In addition, they will add momentum to Italy’s development cooperation activities in Cuba.
The Agreements refer to the treatment of a debt of approximately 460 million euros, of which 441 million are in trade credits owed to SACE and 19 million are in tied aid. Thanks to the concerted action led by the Italian Foreign Ministry, the Agreements are broken down into sections providing for debt cancellation, rescheduling and (tied aid and trade credit) conversion measures. More specifically, in the Debt Swap Agreement concomitantly signed by the CEO of SACE, Alessandro Decio, the Cuban Government pledges to convert a debt of 88.6 million euros in trade credit in a Fund denominated in the local currency destined to finance strategic projects for the Country’s development involving Italian companies or Italian-Cuban joint ventures. The non-trade debt conversion agreement will instead make it possible to finance Cuban human and sustainable socio-economic development projects, especially in the area of food and nutrition, agriculture and the conservation and valorisation of the Island’s historical and architectural heritage.