Cuba, China to expand biotechnology cooperation

Updated: 2015-06-29 10:12


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HAVANA - Cuba and China are set to expand cooperation in the field of biotechnology, the Cuban News Agency ( ACN) reported Sunday.

The 8th meeting of the Cuba-China Joint Working Group on Biotechnology will be held Monday and Tuesday in Havana to review progress made over the last two years on already existing agreements.

Dayana Martinez Torres, spokesperson for Cuban biotech group BioCubaFarma, told ACN the meeting will gather about 100 representatives from both countries who will draw up the agreements that will guide the development of biotech cooperation over the coming years.

The biennial meeting, alternately hosted by Cuba and China, will this year focus on five areas: industry, sanitary regulations, health, science and nuerotechnology, and agrocylture.

The president of BioCubaFarma, Carlos Gutierrez, will address the opening on Cuba's behalf, while the deputy director of China's National Development and Reform Commission, Lin Nianxiu, will speak on China's behalf.

Public-private biotech firms are expected to present the results of bilateral cooperation efforts so far and the outlook for future agreements.

On Wednesday, the Chinese delegation is scheduled to visit Cuba 's Mariel Port Special Development Zone, a deep-water shipping port and industrial park taking shape near Havana, and attend a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the National Center for Scientific Research.

In 2012, Cuba's government merged 38 different biotech and pharmaceutical firms into BioCubaFarma to consolidate the country' s biotech industry, which has the potential to generate significant foreign revenue via exports of innovative medical products and to develop new medications to substitute costly imports.