Within the framework of the State of Qatars endeavors to beef up relations with various world countries and build strategic and outstanding partnerships in a variety of fields, comes the visit of President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel to the State of Qatar.
The visit of the Cuban President to Doha and the discussions that will be held during this visit are anticipated to support and reinforce ties between the two nations at all levels, especially in economy, trade and investment, in addition to opening broader horizons.
The visit is anticipated to contribute to elevating the volume of investments and trade exchange between the two countries to achieve the aspirations of the leaderships of the two nations and their friendly peoples to peace, security, and prosperity.
The Qatari-Cuban relationship is based on the solid bonds of friendship whose foundation was laid by HH the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and the Cuban late President Fidel Castro Ruz. In 1989, the establishment of the diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between the two nations was announced, and the Republic of Cuba opened its embassy in Doha in 1994, while the State of Qatar opened its embassy in Havana in 2001, as the first Gulf state to open an embassy there.
The Qatari-Cuban ties are described as solid and outstanding seeking further cooperation and progress in multiple fields. These ties were promoted through the shared visits between the two countries at the highest levels which had primarily focused on upgrading the economic and investment relationships, chief amongst which was the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Cuba in 2015.
That visit strikingly gave the Qatari-Cuban relations a new momentum and elevated them to an outstanding stage during which a memorandum of understanding for investment in the Republic of Cuba was signed offering the State of Qatar the opportunity for a 5-year investment worth $2 billion to achieve the shared benefits between the two nations.
The relations between Doha and Havana regulate array of agreements and memorandums of understanding. The relations between the two sides are solid at the political level, as the two nations are determined to coordinate with each other in international venues and have points of commonality towards numerous matters of international agenda to support international security and peace. At the economic level, the two nations seek to further develop the economic ties more effectively in sectors that concern the two sides such as health, tourism, and investments.
In May 2018, the 2nd round of political consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs in the two countries was held in Havana, during which bilateral relations and ways to support and develop them were discussed, in addition to discussing a broad range of issues of common interest.
In March 2023, Qatar Chamber discussed trade and economic ties between the State of Qatar and Cuba, avenues to reinforce them and cooperation between the private sectors of the two nations in a variety of economic sectors, especially investment.
This came during the meeting held between First Vice-Chairman of Qatar Chamber Mohamed bin Twar Al Kuwari, and HE Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment of the Republic of Cuba Deborah Rivas Saavedra.
Saavedra expressed her countrys welcome to the Qatari investments calling on the Qatari businessmen to invest in Cuba where investment opportunities in multiple sectors exist, along with an electronic platform that includes a variety of economic sectors and investment opportunities, to which Qatari businessmen can access and learn about the available opportunities in Cuba.
Tourism sector in Cuba emerges as a promising sector that offers the potential to establish shared projects between the two nations. The Cuban side showcased a list of 16 hotel, agricultural, industrial and oil projects to the Qatari side, as well as civil aviation in which Qatar can invest in.
The Qatari-Cuban cooperation relationship was culminated in the inauguration of the Cuban Hospital at Dukhan area in Qatar in 2012 which remained a model to be emulated in cooperation between nations. The Cuban media circles described the hospital as an "icon of cooperation in the region".
In the context of the good relations between Qatar and Latin American countries, the Global Public Diplomacy Network led by Katara Cultural Village Foundation concluded the promotional campaign for the "Qatari Public Diplomacy in Latin America" which was launched with the participation of a host of Their Excellencies ambassadors, diplomats, media professionals, sports and art icons in Latin American countries, alongside major press institutions, media, and TV channels.
The campaign had contributed to promoting the bilateral and historical relations between Qatar, Cuba, and Latin American countries, along with its role in beefing up close cooperation between the two sides in a variety of fields. The campaign earned positive and long-term reactions in Cuban media circles and a warm welcome from the Cuban people who were fervently upbeat about this initiative.
The campaign included broadcasting programs on the comprehensive renaissance the State of Qatar is witnessing, the achievements made in various venues, as well as the bilateral, historical and outstanding relations between Doha and Latin American countries, in addition to streaming professional movies that narrate the initiatives launched by the network, along with their role in reinforcing bilateral relations among the member states and establishing communications bridges between nations and communities worldwide.
The movies had a profound impact in promoting Qatars posture as an attractive and pioneering tourism, cultural and sports destination. The campaign accentuated the Qatar- led preparations to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
In October 2022, the Cultural Village Foundation-Katara inaugurated the mural titled Friends, Qatar and Cuba, created by Cuban artist Michel Lopez during which the embassies of Cuba and Haiti in Qatar offered the Qatar National Library a combination of books of two thought leaders in the two countries within the framework of enhancing intercultural dialogue promoted by Qatar National Library.
In December 2019, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Republic of Cuba during that time, Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Derbasti, participated in a ceremony held by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of issuance of postage stamp to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Cuba.
Cuba Island is situated in the Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean whose area is slightly more than 110,000 square kilometers. Its population is roughly 11 million people.
To the north of Cuba, 300 miles away, located the US state of Florida. Cuba is undergoing a process of gradual economic recovery, and is witnessing a spike in foreign investments. Among its most critical natural resources are nickel, cobalt, iron ore, coffee, sugar, tobacco, copper, oil, and timber.
There are promising plans to export cobalt, especially since Cuba has the third largest reserve of cobalt in the world, while tourism in Cuba is considered an industry which currently attracts over 4 million tourists annually. It is considered as one of the most important major income resources for the Caribbean island. The number of the incoming tourists aboard cruise ships reached a roughly 800,000 visitors in 2018.
Since the sixties of the last century, Cuba has been investing in education, especially in health, as physicians are the most important cadres to be deployed worldwide. Consequently, it earned profits exceeding $11 billion annually. Currently, there are over 45,000 Cuban physicians in 67 countries in various continents, along with tens of thousands of nurses, technicians and paramedics. The Cuban medical crews proved their aptitudes and capabilities and provided good services in numerous disaster zones in Asia, Africa and Americas.