France and Cuba signed an agreement providing for economic and industrial collaboration between the two countries at the end of talks in Havana of Wednesday (March 26).
SV ZOOM TO GV Sierra Maestra Hotel, Havana
SV Cuban Acting Foreign Relations Minister, Mr. Rene Anillo and M. Olivier Stirn, French Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, enter room and sit at table
CU Two men signing agreement
SV Both men exchange document books
CU Mr. Anillo
SV M. Stirn
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Background: France and Cuba signed an agreement providing for economic and industrial collaboration between the two countries at the end of talks in Havana of Wednesday (March 26). Low prices for sugar, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of Cuba's exports, have severely reduced the country's income of hard currency.
SYNOPSIS: Cuba's government says the country is facing serious economic difficulties and only its favourable terms of trade with the Soviet bloc are saving it from disaster. Mr. Rene Anillo, Cuba's Acting Foreign Relations Minister, and Mr. Olivier Stirn, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, met for 3 days of talks which centred on commercial exchanges between the two countries. Outbreaks of disease are reported to have struck the vital agriculture sectors of Cuba's economy, severely reducing the output of sugar, tobacco and pork.
But although Cuba's economic growth has been slowing down, the country's planning figures show that the economy has not stagnated. There was even substantial growth in some industrial sectors during 1979.