Australia will significantly upgrade commercial ties with Cuba with former trade minister Andrew Robb to lead a business delegation to the emerging nation this week.
Mr Robb’s trip comes hot on the heels of an announcement by United States President Barack Obama, who will make history by visiting Cuba next month to help restore diplomatic relations after more than a half-century of Cold War-era conflict between the countries.
Mr Robb stepped aside as trade minster two weeks ago ahead of his plans to retire from Parliament at this election. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave him the status of Trade Envoy so he could conclude free-trade deal negotiations with India and Singapore and, it now appears, open up relations with Cuba.
It will be the first ever Australian business delegation to visit Cuba.