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Bolivian President Evo Morales said Friday that he and Cuban counterpart Raúl Castro agreed to set up a pharmaceutical plant in the Andean nation.

"We cannot go on importing medications, we cannot remain subjugated to the international monopolies that industrialize medicines," Bolivia's head of state said during a public event in the central province of Cochabamba.

"And we have agreed - together, Bolivia and Cuba - we will industrialize medications in Bolivia," Morales said, referring to the previous night's conversation with Castro in Havana.

Cuba, despite its lack of resources, has developed a significant biotechnology sector.

Castro "is very much in accord" with the initiative, Morales said, adding that he had already instructed Health Minister Juan Carlos Calvimontes to begin working with Cuban officials to advance the project.

Morales stopped in Havana for talks with Castro on his way back to Bolivia from Costa Rica, where he attended the inauguration of new President Luís Guillermo Solis.

"We have enormous areas of agreement in the political, ideological realm, but now we must take an important step in the trade and industrial integration between Cuba and Bolivia," Morales said in Cochabamba.


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