South- South Cooperation gets stronger, India and Cuba identify new sectors for cooperation

Top Indian diplomat in the Indian embassy in Havana confirmed to Financial Express Online that, “During FIHAV 2018 where almost 45 Indian companies had participated, LOI was inked on the sidelines.

In line with the government’s “Focus LAC” initiatives and deepening South-South Cooperation, a Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed between the Cuban Business Group of Logistics for Agriculture, GELMA, and the Indian company ESCORTS for exchange of technical data in relation to the project for the supply, post-sale and specialized technical services in the companies under GELMA Business Group.

Top Indian diplomat in the Indian embassy in Havana confirmed to Financial Express Online that, “During FIHAV 2018 where almost 45 Indian companies had participated, LOI was inked on the sidelines. In fact sectors identified between the two sides for enhancing economic cooperation include agriculture, renewable energy, health, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and sports.”

According to Madhu Sethi, Indian Ambassador to Cuba, “FIHAV is an appropriate destination for the Indian companies to meet international delegates across sectors from not only Cuba but the entire Caribbean & Central American region.”

She suggested that such a fair allows the Indian companies to showcase the prowess of the Indian Industry and to tap the lucrative opportunities that the country has to offer.

The relations between the two countries acquired a new momentum with the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind in June and in his talks with his Cuban counterpart President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the two countries had talked about strengthening economic relations. And two MoU’s on Cooperation in the field of Biotechnology and Traditional Medicines and Homeopathy were signed at the end of talks.

According to the envoy, “Biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors are the main pillars of Cuban economy in which both are currently operating. The main products being traded are active ingredients, raw material and equipment.”

Also, since Cuba is one of the founding members of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and cooperation under the ISA Framework is happening, India has offered $ 75 million LoC for 100 MW solar power project in that country.

At the 36th edition of FIHAV which was organised by Cuba where over 70 countries participated and had 45 companies from various sectors were there under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and FICCI. This fair is considered to be one of the most important multi-sectoral trade fair in Caribbean and Central American region with most government procurement orders and business being conducted at the show.

Cuba which is under transformation and liberalization and one of the last few markets in the world to open up has enormous scope for Indian Exporters along with potential lines of credit from EXIM Bank, and areas including India – technology collaboration, skill development, training, SME collaborations.

Also, as has been reported earlier, India could explore opportunities in getting gold from that country as well as seek joint co-operations in copper, nickel and cobalt mining operations.

  • Published in Cuba

Russia to supply India with 5 S-400 systems, defying Washington sanctions

A contract for the delivery of five S-400 systems, one of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapons, has been signed between Moscow and New Delhi, the Kremlin has confirmed.


© Reuters

India signed a $5.43 billion deal to purchase five advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia, defying threats of potential sanctions from Washington.

The deal was finalized after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi.

The advanced air defense system can defend against different kinds of cruise and ballistic missiles. China was the first foreign nation to purchase S-400 systems.

With its S-400 purchase, India now risks being sanctioned under Washington’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which targets countries that purchase arms from Russia.

During a joint media conference after their meeting, Putin said that Russia would work with India to boost bilateral cooperation in the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and G20.

The Russian leader also said both nations would coordinate counter-terrorism efforts. Modi noted that both countries support a multipolar world.

The two leaders also signed a deal on space cooperation. Modi said during the joint press conference that he hoped Russia would help India develop its space program. The Indian leader recently announced that he aims to send astronauts into space by 2022.

Putin stated during the press conference that they had discussed regional security issues, including counter-terrorism efforts in Syria, as well as the status of the Iran nuclear deal.

Modi hailed his country’s close ties to Moscow, saying that Russia has always "stood shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the energy sector and our goals."

  • Published in World

Vaishali to be India's first visually impaired player at World Chess Olympiad

Blind chess player Vaishali Narendra Salavkar will become the first Indian female to be part of the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) team at the world chess Olympiad, starting September 23 at Batumi in Georgia, a top IBCA official said.

The IBCA, affiliated to FIDE, sends its teams - open and women - to compete at the chess Olympiad. "Vaishali will be the first Indian blind chess player to participate in the World Chess Olympiad," IBCA President Jadhav Charudatta told IANS on phone from London on Saturday.

Charudatta is also the President of All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB). "Forty-five-year-old Vaishali from Maharashtra has been playing chess for the past 20-25 years. She is an eight-time national champion," AICFB Treasurer Swapnil Shah told IANS. Vaishali has an Elo rating of 1,357 points. An Elo rating is a system which calculates the skills of chess players. 

Shah said two Spanish women chess players were not able to play in the Olympiad and hence the chance came to Vaishali. As per the Olympiad official website, the other Indian female chess player who will be playing in the Olympiad is Malika Handa (ELO rating 1,334) as part of the International Chess Committee of Deaf (ICCD) team.

With these two players, the total number of Indian women chess players including the normal women`s team at the Batumi Olympiad will be seven. The Indian women`s chess Olympiad team consists of Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Tania Sachdev, Karavade Esha, and Padmini Rout.

Meanwhile, Charudatta requested FIDE - the global chess body- to extend its cooperation in developing chess for the blind. "For instance, FIDE has specific programmes like chess in schools. It can be extended to blind school students. The blind school students could be allowed to attend the chess classes held in normal schools," Charudatta said.

He said the three chess federations for differently abled - IBCA, ICCD, and International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPDCA) - could first look forming a common platform to address the problems faced by their players.


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Indian president concludes Cuba visit

Havana, June 23 (RHC)—India´s president Ram Nath Kovind concluded his official visit to Cuba Friday evening after fulfilling an intense agenda in the Cuban capital.

During his stay, India and Cuba agreed to enhance cooperation in biotechnology, renewable energy and traditional medicine and President Ram Nath Kovind held wide-ranging talks with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel to further cement the strong bilateral ties.

As part of his two-day stay in the Caribbean nation, three legal instruments were signed to expand cooperation in the traditional medicine and biotechnology sectors. Kovind showed special interest in this last area with his visit to the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, where he said he was impressed by the advances of that industry in the country.

The Indian Head of State also delivered a keynote address in the Aula Magna of the University of Havana in which he emphasized his country's efforts to promote South-South cooperation, and the importance given to this kind of relationship by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Kovind also paid tribute to Cuba´s National Hero José Martí and to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation, before the monuments to those heroes in the Cuban capital.

In the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, Kovind also revered Fidel Castro before the monolith where the ashes of the leader of the Revolution rest, in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery.

Cuba highly appreciates India´s traditional rejection of the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island. In the economic and collaboration areas, both countries maintain ties  in the sectors of renewable energy, food, agriculture, academic exchange and sports

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba, India Sign Cooperation Agreements in Health, Biotechnology

Cuba and India signed here today three juridical instruments to promote cooperation in the field of health and biotechnology, agreements framed in President Ram Nath Kovind''s visit to the island.

In the presence of the host head of State Miguel Diaz-Canel and President Kovind, the Ayush Ministry of India and the Public Health Ministry of Cuba agreed through a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the links in traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy.

For their part, the Ministries of Science and Technology signed a memorandum for biotechnological cooperation.

About Kovind's visit, a letter of intent was also established between BioCubaFarma, the Council for the Support of Biotechnology Research and Kalam Institute of Health Technologies in India.

The Indian President and Diaz Canel held official talks before the signing ceremony of the legal instruments.

Earlier, Kovind paid tribute to the Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti, and the Indian independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi.

In the afternoon, the visitor will give a lecture in the Aula Magna of the University of Havana and will tour parts of the capital's historic center, declared by Unesco World Heritage Site in 1982.

  • Published in Cuba

Indian president visits Cuba to strengthen cooperation

HAVANA, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Indian President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Cuba on Thursday for a two-day visit aimed at strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.

Kovind arrived at the southeastern city of Santiago de Cuba, around 900 kilometers southeast of Havana. He was welcomed at the airport by Cuban Vice President Beatriz Johnson, along with other officials.

Shortly after arriving, Kovind paid tribute to late former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where his ashes were buried.

The Indian president will travel to Havana later on the same day and hold talks with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Friday.

According to India's presidency, the two nations will sign cooperation agreements in biotechnology, traditional medicine, homeopathy and therapeutic plants.

Kovind is also scheduled to deliver a speech at the University of Havana.

  • Published in Cuba

Indian President With Intense Working Agenda in Cuba

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will carry out an intense working agenda during his visit to Cuba, where he will hold talks with his peer Miguel Diaz-Canel, according to the program published here today.

Kovind will arrive in the island on Thursday, June 21, for the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, territory in which he will pay tribute to the historical leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016).

As part of the visit, to be last until Friday, June 22, the president will lay a wreath at the monument in Havana to Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), key figure of the independence process in India.

Kovind will visit the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, pay tribute to National Hero, Jose Marti, offer a keynote speech at the Main Lecture hall of the Havana University and tour the historical district of this capital.

Cuba and India will sign a memorandum of understanding in biotechnology, traditional medicine, medicinal plants and homeopathy.

Kovind will arrive in Cuba for the first time, as part of a tour that includes Greece and Suriname.

Among the historical events that unite Cuba and India stands out Fidel Castro's meeting in New York in 1960 with the then Prime Minister of the South Asian nation, Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964).

Havana and New Delhi are also pillars of the Non-Aligned Movement throughout the history of this organization and share common positions in that field.

  • Published in Cuba

Indian President to Talk to Cuban Autrhorities

Havana, Jun 19 (Prensa Latina) Indian President Ram Nath Kovind will make an official visit to Cuba on June 21 and 22, where he will have a dialogue with national authorities, the Cuban Foreign Ministry announced Monday.

Kovind will arrive in the Caribbean nation for the first time as part of a tour that includes visits to Greece and Suriname.

According to official sources, the President of India will hold talks with the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, after arriving on the island in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, where he will pay tribute to the historical leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro.

In addition, the visitor is expected to deposit a wreath before the Monument of the National Hero, José Martí, in the capital's Plaza de la Revolución (Revolution Square).

According to the agenda advanced in New Delhi, Cuba and India will sign several memoranda of understanding in the fields of biotechnology, traditional medicine, medicinal plants and homeopathy.

  • Published in Cuba
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