HAVANA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- China officially handed over aid funds equivalent to 36 million U.S. dollars to Cuba on Friday, to support Cuban development in sectors such as agriculture, water resources, renewable energy and technology.
Six cooperation projects that have already been executed were made official at the ceremony chaired by Chinese Ambassador in Havana Chen Xi and Cuban First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Investment Antonio Carricarte.
According to signed documents, China provides equipment worth 6.9 million dollars to help with Cuba's livestock recovery program.
China also provides equipment worth around 7.2 million dollars to modernize Cuban ports and airports, as well as delivers equipment and machineries to strengthen the island's water systems and to support the development of sanitary solutions, among others.
"These six projects total about 36 million dollars and some of them have already been executed. Most of the equipment and machinery has already been delivered and in other cases Chinese and Cuban experts are installing them," Chen told Xinhua.
Among the most important projects is the supply of raw materials for the production of photovoltaic solar panels worth 3 million dollars as this Caribbean nation is aiming to rapidly develop its renewable energy program.
In addition, both sides signed a document on China's donation of 7.7 million dollars of rice to Cuba.
"This demonstrates once again the friendship between China and Cuba. The two countries have good relations not only in the political and diplomatic areas but also in economic and trade cooperation," said the Chinese ambassador.
Carricarte told Xinhua that China is an important source of donations, resources and credits for Cuba.
"Economic and commercial relations with China are present in almost all sectors of the Cuban economy and social life, there are growing links and other projects are being negotiated to increase the participation of Chinese companies in foreign investment," he said.
China became the island's first trading partner in 2016 while the Caribbean nation has maintained in recent years a growing trend in its exports to China.
According to official data, during the first eight months of 2017, the volume of bilateral trade totaled 1.13 billion dollars, of which China exported 830 million dollars of goods to Cuba while the island nation exported 300 million dollars of goods to Beijing.