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  • President Juan Manuel Santos arrives in Cuba.

    President Juan Manuel Santos arrives in Cuba. | Photo: Presidential

The head of state arrived Sunday for a two-day visit.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos landed in Cuba for meetings with President Raul Castro and a number of business people to discuss the furthering of economic ties between the two countries.

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During his two-day visit, Santos will participate in a business forum as well as a meeting with the Cuban president. He will also place a wreath before the monument of the National Hero in the Plaza of the Revolution.

Santos has often thanked the Cuban leader for its crucial role in the peace process between his government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Accompanying the president on his state visit are the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Maria Claudia Lacouture and ProColombia President Felipe Jaramillo, who will participate in the business forum in order to strengthen commercial ties between the two nations and further expand the number of business ventures including agribusiness, construction, energy.

Santos will also visit the Marques de Arcos Palace in Cuba’s historic Old Havana and participate in a tribute to Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez who died in 2014.

The president’s first visit to Cuba was in March 2012, when he attended the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

The two nations have maintained an Economic Complementation Agreement since 2001 which was expanded in 2016 as part of the Latin American Integration Association to allow the entry of 4,550 products.

In 2016 alone, Colombia exported US$33.5 million to Cuba of which US$30.2 million were from non-natural resources totaling US$12.7 million in the island sales, according to official figures.

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