The French Development Agency (AFD) has announced its intention to open a representative office in Havana by the end of the year, as part of an agreement signed last week between the two countries.

The deal, signed by the French ambassador to Cuba, Jean-Marie Bruno, and Cuba’s foreign trade minister, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, covers the conditions of AFD’s activities in Cuba and its future office’s status on the island.

AFD was mandated to start identifying projects likely to be supported by France in the coming years back in May 2015, following President Hollande’s visit to Cuba. The visit also marked the signature of a bilateral agreement on financing, formally authorising AFD to fund Cuban projects.

The new agreement defines priority investment areas, namely renewable energy, water and sanitation, sustainable tourism, urban development, agribusiness and transportation. AFD is now preparing to offer preferential financing support and arrange other sources of subsidised funding for such projects.