Leaders from China and Cuba's silk industry gathered here on Friday to discuss ways to expand silk production in the Caribbean country and explore a new area of bilateral growth.
The seminar sponsored in Havana by the Center for Foreign Economic Cooperation (CCEE) of the Ministry of Agriculture of China offered guidance on improving the production and industrialization of silk in Cuba.
"This is not only a training project, but also contributes to China-Cuba cooperation. We hope this course can become a platform where we can share information, attract business investment and increase exchanges," said Li Bin, representative of the CCEE.
The day included conferences, visits to production sites and workshops where participants learned new techniques in silk development.
The Ministry of Agriculture of Cuba has a five-year sericulture, or silk farming program, and seeks to expand not only its knowledge of the sector but also attract Chinese investment.
Cuba is adopting sericulture as a sustainable alternative to support the development of its biomedical, biotechnological, cosmetic and textile industries, expecting it to increase incomes and jobs.
"Our courses here cover the whole process, from cultivating silkworms to producing silk, to silk cocoon processing, dying, weaving and even include the medical use of silk fiber," Wei Kai, a professor from the Soochow University located in Suzhou City, eastern China.
Wei and three other Chinese experts on the subject will provide training to more than 20 Cuban officials.
"China has been cooperating with Cuba for five years now and there is a small sericulture experimental field in operation. Our courses here are intended to introduce all relevant technology and products in the sericulture downstream industrial chain to Cuban researchers," he told Xinhua.
Luo Zhanyong, chairman of Guangdong SILDA Silk Co., said that this exchange will allow China and Cuba to expand cooperation in this sector.
"We hope to take the technological and industrial system of silk production beyond China. Cuba's silk sector has just started and we hope to have a development opportunity in Cuba via this industry," he said.