France wants US to lift economic embargo on Cuba; Aims further growth for the island
Feb 02, 2016 03:58 AM EST
France wants the United States to lift the economic embargo against Cuba. This call was made during the visit of the Caribbean President Raul Castro to boost the economic relations between Paris and Havana.
Francois Hollande, President of France and a former leader of France Socialist party, welcomed Castro with a warm hug in the Elysee presidential palace. The two promised to develop political, economic and cultural ties between countries.
In 2014, the US declared a normal relation with Cuba, but it still maintains an economic embargo of on the island. Hollande said that President Barrack Obama must allow the spoils of war to end which the French government is consistent in asking the US government since 1991.
Castro said that they appreciated France traditional position regarding the embargo that the US possesses on their island which he said is the main obstacle for development in our country. He added that they wanted to diversify the bilateral relation with France in all areas possible, political, financial, economic, cultural and academic cooperation.
The Paris Club of creditor countries excused the $8.5 billion overdue Cuban interest payments in exchange for Cuba's promise to pay off $2.6 billion worth of loans from developed countries over the next year and a half. Cuba and France has a new bilateral deal regarding Cuba's remaining debt which totals to $390 million. The agreement which was signed last Monday stated that Paris agrees to convert 212 million euros into a fund that will finance the two government's projects on the island.
An addition to the agreement was to allow France to open a French Agency Development in Havana. This public financial institution aims to lend loans to public and private groups to support the continuous development and projects of the area.
Companies in France are looking for business opportunities in Cuba. Transport, food and tourism are just some of the business opportunities presented. There is a significant increase in the number of French tourists visiting Cuba last year.