France Seeks to Expand Trade Links with Cuba

Havana, Dec 10. -The Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of France, Pierre Lellouche, said here that his country seeks to strengthen economic relations with Cuba and increase the trade until at least 250 million euros in 2012.Lellouche, who is the first French holder to visit Cuba for the last nine years, told reporters on Friday that he seeks to revive trade with Cuba, which amounted in 2010 to 120 million euros, in 2011, to150 million, and "continues to grow ", he said.

"The next year´s forecasts, he says, is spending at least 250 million euros, taking into account that this year the French imports have doubled in Cuba." Lellouche added that France intends to expand trade with Cuba by joint projects and larger representation of the French business community, since the French industry "has much to contribute in sectors such as agribusiness, energy, transportation and water treatment."

These issues were the main topic of the two-day talks held with representatives from Cuban trade, tourism, transport, energy and others.

In those days Lellouche also had a meeting with Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada.

In these contacts, he said, they talked about with global issues as the euro crisis, and the dispute between Cuba and the United States by the trademark Havana Club rum, marketed abroad by the French group Pernod Ricard.

He said he intends to present this subject at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization to be held next week. (Prensa Latina)