Cuba, China wrap up session on biotech cooperation
Updated: 2015-07-01 12:44
HAVANA - Cuba and China Tuesday wrapped up a two-day meeting to expand cooperation in the field of biotechnology.
Participants of the 8th meeting of the Cuba-China Joint Working Group on Biotechnology reviewed progress made on existing agreements and outlined bilateral cooperation for the coming two years.
About 100 representatives from biotech and pharmaceutical companies and research institutes from both countries attended the event, which was expected to conclude with the signing of agreements between Cuban state biotech group BioCubaFarma and China's National Development and Reform Commission (CNDR).
Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel attended the first day of the session, where participants discussed biotech applications in five key areas: industry, sanitary regulations, health, science and neurotechnology and agriculture.
The president of BioCubaFarma, Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, addressed the opening of the session, saying cooperation in biotechnology has become one of the driving engines of the relationship between Havana and Beijing given its "great outlook".
The deputy director of the CNDR, Lin Nianxiu, concurred, saying collaboration in the field has been mutually beneficial in the past decade.
Chinese firms, said Lin, are interested in establishing themselves in Cuba, investing in the country's new Mariel Port development, a deep-water shipping port and industrial park taking shape near Havana.
China has spent some 500 billion yuan (about 82 billion U.S. dollars) in recent years on the production and sale of biotech products.
The two countries began to cooperate in the field starting in 2004, during a visit to Cuba by then Chinese president Hu Jintao.
Today, about a score of Chinese biotech or pharmaceutical companies are involved in more than 30 joint projects with their Cuban counterparts.
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