Venezuela and Cuba will sign agreements on 285 joint projects totaling about $3.2 billion at an upcoming summit of the regional ALBA trade bloc, RIA-Novosti quoted Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez as saying.
According to Ramirez, the documents were agreed during the work of the 10th Cuban-Venezuelan intergovernmental commission prior to the ALBA summit in the Cuban capital, Havana, on December 13-14.
"In 2000, we started the work of the intergovernmental commission with 17 projects worth $30.5 million...and now we will sign 285 joint deals totaling $3.185 billion," the Venezuelan minister said.
He added that the trade between Venezuela and Cuba has reached $8.7 billion, mainly in the health, education, agriculture and energy sectors.
Over 40,000 Cuban experts are working in Venezuela to help the poverty-stricken Latin American country improve its health care and education systems, Ramirez said.
ALBA, or the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, was founded by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005 and now comprises nine members — Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.