• Kyodo

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Japan and Cuba plan to hold the first meeting of a joint public-private conference in early November in Havana as part of efforts to expand bilateral economic ties, a Japanese government source said Sunday.

The two countries agreed to launch the dialogue involving the governments and companies when Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida visited Cuba in May.

At the meeting that the two countries are seeking to hold around Nov. 9 and 10, the Japanese side will call on Cuba to improve its business environment through taxation and employment reforms, according to the source.

Specific topics at the meeting are expected to include the easing of restrictions on foreign businesses in Cuba, tariff cuts and the relaxation of rules on foreign companies’ employment of local workers.

Cuba, which is strong in mineral resources and tourism, is drawing much attention among Japanese investors as the risk of investing appears to have waned after the country fully restored diplomatic relations with the United States in July.

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