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Brazilian ministers praise collaboration resumption with Cuba

Havana, Sep 16 (Prensa Latina) Brazilian ministers Nísia Trindade (Health), Luciana Santos (Science, Technology and Innovation) and Paulo Teixeira (Agrarian Development) praised the reconstruction of their country's cooperation with Cuba, which as of today can yield significant fruits.

Trindade alluded before the press to an agreement closed with Cuba´s Public Health Ministry (MINSAP) in which Brazil was able to enter the line of biopharmaceuticals.

“We had the possibility of the technological incorporation of alpha-epoetin, concluded by Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation). It is a milestone, because it allowed Brazil to enter a cutting-edge technological field,” she explained.

According to the Minister, Brazil is also resuming agreements with Cuba to jointly develop products, innovations in the fields of vaccines, medicines for chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and even new medicines for gastritis based on the use of sugar cane.

She recognized a whole field of innovation and “the significance of such an agreement is that Brazil benefits from the state-of-the-art knowledge that Cuba has been developing for years”.

Santos recalled that Brazil currently spends a lot of money on drug imports, a situation that the agreement can help transform.

“They (Cuban scientists) work in the area of research on rare diseases, diabetes and drug manufacturing, which is one of the challenging issues for Brazil,” she said.

She admitted that, in the Brazilian trade balance, “we have a deficit of USD$20 billion (with medicines). So, everything that comes to add development, research, technological knowledge is what interests us the most. That is why this ‘win-win’ logic is all we want”, she reasoned.

The intention of the Brazilian government is that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2002 with Cuba be resumed, with the indication of a new management committee, so that bilateral cooperation becomes once again the keynote of the relations.

Minister Teixeira, on the other hand, regretted the standstill in relations between Brazil and Cuba in the last six years, but now we are resuming ties “especially in the area of family agriculture”.

He listed some issues such as genetics of agri-food species, bio-inputs, animal feed, conservation agriculture, traditional food systems, fertilizers, agro-industry, access to water. “They (the Cubans) have a lot of knowledge and we want to exchange that knowledge.”


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