The news aroused strong reaction in the media: a few days ago the Russian Kamaz Corporation announced investments to assemble heavy trucks in Cuba. It aims to do this with this country’s Gesime firm. With this novelty, it gives continuity to the contract it signed a month before in Havana with the Tecnoimport import enterprise for the supply of trucks, tow trucks and spare parts to the Caribbean nation.
The largest Russian truck manufacturer, with a third of the market in that country, said in a press release that it is “actively expanding cooperation of mutual benefit” with Cuba. It also reported that it is currently organising “the assembly and maintenance of up to 1,000 trucks per year” on Cuban territory, with the possibility of increasing the number.
A Kamaz representative cited by the daily Vedomosti announced that that company has already made the decision to open the assembly plant. And he said that the production, which it will carry out with Gesime through the supply of kits from Russia, could start late this year or early 2017.
Other Russian press reports confirm that Kamaz will supply trucks, spare parts and machinery to Cuba in order to re-establish this trade mark’s truck park, present in this country for decades. The contract also previews the training of Cuban personnel heading their exploitation.
The director of logistics of the Cuban Transport Ministry, Mario Pérez Ventura, said a month ago that the trucks repaired or bought from Russia will serve for the distribution of food and other products, will allow for an improvement of the rather depressed situation of the local transport bases in the country and will cater to growing demands like that of the Port of Mariel.
The note, published in April by the daily Granma, said that the contract was signed “under favourable conditions for Cuba,” while the Vedomosti source said that the costs will be shared by the two partners. But they still haven’t given details of the amount or investment forecasts.
Right now the parties are studying the site where the plant will be built.
Kamaz ranks eleventh among the heavy truck manufacturers of the world and eighth for the amount of diesel engines. Cuba’s would be its fifth assembly plant abroad; the others are in Kazakhstan, India, Vietnam and Lithuania.
With this agreement, Russia started recovering its industrial protagonist role in an economy that, until the late 1980s, had in the Soviet Union the principal means of support for its policy of industrialisation. (2016)
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