HAVANA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Cuban President Raul Castro and the visiting Premier of Quebec Philippe Couillard on Tuesday agreed to boost economic ties between the two sides.
According to an official release, Castro hosted Couillard at the presidential palace where they talked about bilateral relations and exchanged views on topics of common interest.
"Our government wants to establish a truly beneficial cooperation for each other with associations that each party can benefit from. We also want to share our experience and develop new economic bonds together," said Couillard.
The two sides signed a joint declaration aimed at developing further economic cooperation.
They have reached several agreements including economic ones on tourism, public health and biotechnology, an agreement between the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality of Quebec and the Ministry of Tourism of Cuba, and a strategic agreement between the Office of the Chief Scientist of Quebec and BioCubaFarma for the implementation of brain mapping treatment in Quebec.
Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca said the Caribbean nation will deepen its cooperation with Quebec, one of the most important regions in Canada.
"Cuba's trade with Quebec accounts for less than 10 percent of total economic cooperation with Canada. Consequently there is great potential for growth," he said.
Canada is the largest source of tourists to Cuba, with over 1 million visitors from that nation every year, half of them from Quebec.