Miguel Díaz-Canel ended his official visit to Italy surrounded by friendly faces, with a “meeting with solidarity groups, Cuban residents and diplomatic personnel accredited in Rome,” according to reported the official press.
“This meeting with you was essential,” said the president in statements collected by the Cuban Presidency.
Before, Díaz-Canel visited the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the purpose of continuing to strengthen the “excellent” relations that both parties maintain.
The organization’s director, the Chinese Qu Dongyu, published on his social networks that “Cuba has great potential to develop more sustainable and climate-resilient agri-food systems,” and that they will continue to support “the country’s efforts by taking advantage of science, technology, and innovation, promoting better investments and the training of farmers”.
The agenda of the Cuban president, which began this Tuesday with an audience with Pope Francis in the Vaticanincluded a meeting with a group of Italian businessmen and another with the head of the Italian State, Sergio Mattarella.
To the businessmen, Díaz-Canel had ratified the “will to work together to strengthen relations in sectors of mutual interest”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you personally,” the Cuban president told Mattarella as soon as he saw himself at the Quirinale, headquarters of the Headquarters of State and where he was received by a picket of honor.
The Italian president, already seated in the meeting room of the palace, assured him that it was “an honor” for him to receive him in Rome and expressed his desire to “highlight the friendship between our countries and peoples.”
The Cuban did not finally meet the prime ministerGiorgia Meloni.
To the businessmen, Díaz-Canel had ratified the “will to work together to strengthen relations in sectors of mutual interest.” According to cubadebateSome 50 companies from Italy operate on the island, its fifth largest trading partner, as well as several businesses in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM).
The president mentioned in the meeting that the Italian company Pharma Salewith interests in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, plans to establish a retail business in Cuba, one of the few with foreign private capital on the island.
The president did not provide further details, but the Ministry of Domestic Trade had already pointed out that Farma Venda, which has been in Cuba for 40 years and is listed on the Italian stock market, was involved in a project to develop an electronic sales platform in the country.
The president arrived at the next stop on his European tour, Belgrade, in Serbia, where he was received by the Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Miloš Vučević
The Cuban government announced in August 2022 a legislative change to allow the entry of private companies with foreign and mixed capital –meeting a series of requirements, with restrictions and prior license-– both in wholesale and retail trade.
The reform has so far had few tangible results. In December, the first mixed company was approved – with the participation of a Spanish hardware group – whose objective was to market its items in the country’s wholesale and retail markets, but this newspaper verified that the firm has not yet made any kind of movement.
The plan was for this business to come into operation in the first quarter of this year, but at the moment no information has been made on its opening.
At night, the president arrived at the next stop on his European tour, Belgrade, in Serbia, where he was received by the Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Miloš Vučević.
The official press has announced that “an intense program of activities” awaits Díaz-Canel this Wednesday.
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