Venezuela is now Cuba's top trading partner with $1.4 billion (Ђ1.2 billion) in commerce annually, mostly in petroleum exports from the South American nation, Cuba's foreign commerce minister said Monday.
Cuba is now buying $1.1 billion (Ђ910 million) worth of Venezuelan petroleum annually on highly preferential terms, along with another $300 million (about Ђ250 million) in Venezuelan food, construction materials, and other products, Foreign Commerce Minister Raul de la Nuez said on the first day of the International Fair of Havana, the island's annual trade fair.
Cuba, in return, provides Venezuela with medical and other professional services, including thousands of doctors and health care workers. De la Nuez predicted trade between the two allied nations could reach $2 billion (Ђ1.7 billion) annually by the end of 2006.
The trade fair, featuring products from more than 40 nations, runs through Saturday at the Expo Cuba fairgrounds on the capital's western outskirts, AP reports.