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Posted September 23, 2005 by publisher in Cuba-World Trade

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Venezuelan businesses signed deals to sell US$36.7 million (euro30 million) worth of goods to Cuba Thursday that will include exports of shoes, underwear, artificial leather and industrial products to the communist country.

More than 280 companies, cooperatives and other commercial organizations participated in the government-sponsored forum aimed at boosting trade between the two countries.

“The businesses were satisfied, they were given financial advice and they will be accompanied through the whole process so that they can respond to Cuban demand,” said minister of light industries Edmee Betancourt in a statement following the forum.

The businesses signed letters of intent worth US$36.7 million dollars in deals Thursday, but that sum does not include other agreements signed earlier this week whose value has not yet been calculated, the statement said.

Among the products in demand in Cuba are footwear, women’s underpants, wood, paper and metal products, hardware and electrical equipment, it said.

Betancourt said Tuesday that the Venezuelan government was willing to provide financing to companies that have signed deals to export goods to Cuba but need more capital to increase production.

Ties between the two countries have tightened under the administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an admirer of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Venezuela, the world’s fifth-largest petroleum exporter, already ships about 90,000 barrels of oil a day to the Cuban government on preferential terms.

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