Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5      


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Havana. September 30, 2004

Business in excess of $100 million

BY IVAN TERRERO—Granma International staff writer—

FOR four days the 7th International Transportation Fair (ITF 2004) converted Havana into the headquarters of important business in different branches of the sector.

Perceived as the most important specialized commercial market in Cuba, the ITF 2004 provided unquestionable benefits to the 73 exhibitors from 19 different countries. The exhibitors made over 200 transactions, amounting to $100 million.

One of these 200 commercial deals was Cuba’s purchase of 50 new buses from Russia for one million dollars. These vehicles will be used to transport boarding-school students to educational centers in the following Habana provinces: San Antonio de los Baños, Güira de Melena, Güines and Batabanó. The Provincial School Transportation Company in Havana has already received 36 of the buses.

This acquisition will enable the company to lend an improved service to students, and replace the well-known Student Train which, for several years, transported boarding students from the city of Havana to those educational centers.

The assembly plant Transbus Industria S.A. signed a letter of intent with the suppliers Commercial MCV (representative of Mercedes Benz) and Busscar Omnibus S.A. together with the Havana Bus Company to start assembling approximately 255 buses at a rate of 24 per month from the beginning of next year in its workshops located in Guanajay municipality. These buses will be used for urban transportation.

Over five years, this Brazilian-Cuban joint venture company has produced over 600 Busscar brand buses, using Mercedes Benz frames and engines. The results, conforming with safety procedures, guarantee the quality of these vehicles for transporting passengers in urban city areas. 

The Cuban company Metrobus purchased seven articulated buses which will soon be serving the M-5 line, covering a route from San Agustín in La Lisa municipality to Vedado.

Minister of Transport Carlos Manuel Pazo Torrado explained that they are still seeking alternatives to improve the situation in the transportation sector, severely affected by the commercial and economic embargo imposed by the United States.

Pazo Torrado emphasized that more than 70% of the trade agreements implemented at ITF 2003 have already been put in place. He particularly highlighted the construction of two sea vessels of the Catamaran type in Santiago de Cuba, using cutting-edge technology.

On the last day of the 2004 Fare, prizes and special mentions were awarded for the best services and products. The Special Prize for Quality, the highest award, went to the BMW-X3 auto from the Panama Sunset Group.

Fifty-eight Cuban firms took part in the fair, exhibiting their newest products and services in an environment of commercial-economic and scientific-technologic exchange.

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