News From : DagangHalal.com (21 Oct 2009)
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 (Bernama) — Cuba, an island country in the Caribbean, wants to strengthen bilateral ties with Malaysia, especially in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors to help boost a two-way trade.
Cuban Ambassador to Malaysia Carlos A. Amores said the country, with over 11 million population, was well entrenched in the pharmaceutical field and it was keen in promoting its products in Malaysia.
“Geographic distance has affected the Cuba-Malaysia trade, but we are focusing on long-term partnership to jointly develop products and research in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.
“We (Cuba) have worked together with Malaysia for a long time on the ‘halal’ vaccine against meningitis. We hope to attract more Malaysian companies to cooperate and market their products in Cuba,” he told Bernama during a ‘Get Together and Luncheon With Media Representatives’ at Cuba Residence here on Wednesday.
He said last year, trade between the two countries amounted to US$1 million, dominated by vaccines, cigars, beer and rum imports from Cuba.
Amores said, Cuba was also looking into working with Malaysia in the field of sports and education.
On sport, he hoped more Cuban sport coaches could come to Malaysia to train locals in certain sports. Currently, there are two Cuban boxing coaches based here.
He said Malaysia had also contributed a lot to Cuban society and helped in exporting their products to Malaysia through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme.
Currently, Cuban exports to Malaysia consist of Hepatitis B vaccine and cigar while it imports from Malaysia, mostly food, furniture and computer products.
Diplomatic relations betwen Cuba and Malaysia were established on Feb 6, 1975. In 1997, Cuba opened its embassy in Kuala Lumpur while Malaysia opened its representation in Havana, in February, 2001.