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Dinh Vu


Last updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Vietnam, Cuba Promoting Trade and Investment Cooperation

Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Approximately 20 Cuban businesses in many industries had direct meetings with Vietnamese businesses at the 7th session of the bilateral Business Committee and the Seminar on Trade and Investment Promotion into Cuba. The programme was organized by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in cooperation with the Cuban Embassy in Vietnam, on the occasion of the visit by the Cuban Chamber of Commerce's business delegation led by Vice President Odalys Seijo to Vietnam.
At the meeting, Dr Doan Duy Khuong, Vice President of VCCI, said that Vietnam always considered Cuba its closest relative, the most reliable and united partner.

Although Vietnam and Cuba have a long lasting relationship, due to geographical distances and language barriers, the bilateral trade and investment is still limited and fails to match the relationship between the two peoples. Total bilateral trade between Vietnam and Cuba reached over US$142 million in 2013, US$207.5 million in 2014; US$235 million in 2015. In 2016, this number was nearly US$250 million, of which Vietnam’s main exports to Cuba are rice, coal, chemicals, textiles and computers. Vietnam imports from Cuba some Western medicine and functional foods, etc.

"Cuba is still a big market for Vietnamese businesses to develop and invest, especially in such fields as tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, consumer goods, footwear and textiles which are the sectors Cuba needs, and Vietnam has strength. In contrast, Cuba has many strengths in pharmaceuticals, training, health and construction that have the potential to cooperate well with Vietnam," said Dr Khuong.

He also affirmed that VCCI will be willing to cooperate with the Cuban Embassy and Cuba's trade promotion organisations for the development of cooperation between the business communities of the two countries.

Mr Herminio López Díaz, Cuba Ambassador to Vietnam, said that bilateral trade relations between Vietnam and Cuba opened up many opportunities for multilateral cooperation. Vietnam is a "gateway" to help Cuba access Asian markets as well as ASEAN. Conversely, Cuba is the bridge helping Vietnam reach the Latin American market.

Ms Odalys Seijo, Vice President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce acknowledged that Vietnam's investment in Cuba is still in difficulties as the foreign currency liquidity of the Cuban bank is still slow, legal procedures related to business registration are complicated. However, Ms Odalys Seijo affirmed that Cuba is committed to implementing foreign liquidity as soon as possible.

Currently, Cuba has many preferential policies to attract investment to businesses when investing in Cuba, including Vietnamese businesses. "Enterprises in the two countries can cooperate in production in the fields of tourism, agriculture, especially high quality agricultural products for use in the Cuban market, then export to the US market and Latin American countries," said Ms Odalys Seijo.

Within the framework of the meeting, the VCCI and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, the Cuban Embassy in Vietnam and the business communities of the two countries witnessed the signing of the 2017 - 2018 Action Plan of the Vietnam-Cuba Bilateral Business Committee.

According to the Action Plan, the Vietnam and Cuba Subcommittee of the Vietnam-Cuba Bilateral Business Committee, represented by Mr Nguyen Binh Minh, General Director of Nhat Trang Company Limited, Vice Chairman of Vietnamese Sub-Committee and on behalf of Cuba, by Ilia María Cardoso Galán, Head of Export Department, CUBARON Joint Stock Company, Vice Chairman of the Cuban Sub-Committee, agreed that the main activities will be implemented in the period of 2017- 2018 on a satisfactory basis. The Cuban Subcommittee will provide the Vietnamese side with updated information on investment opportunities in Cuba and especially in the Mariel Development Zone (ZEDM), particularly in the fields of biotechnology, highlighting the advantages and investment guarantees that the current Cuban legislation provides for foreign investment in these areas and will organise a working programme for businesses visiting Cuba and explore the investment opportunities and areas currently the Zone is calling for investment.

The Vietnamese Sub-Committee will present to the Cuban Sub-committee projects calling for investment in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Sub-Committee encourages Cuban businesses to actively explore the Vietnamese market, participate in investment promotion conferences of the provinces, especially to participate in the Vietnam Business Forum held in November/2017 during the APEC week 2017.

The Vietnamese Sub-Committee will continue to seek and introduce information, products and services of Vietnamese businesses to the Cuban market and vice versa.
The two sides will promote the participation of businesses of the two countries at the 35th and 36th International Trade Fair of La Habana as well as the 28th Vietnam International Trade Fair Expo, and help each other to operate at the request of the other party. The two sides continue to promote exchanges of information related to investment and trade opportunities for introduction to the business community of the two countries.

Anh Mai

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