Vietnam, Cuba Deepen Special Political - Economic Ties

1:45:07 PM | 3/12/2019

At the reception meeting with Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Lianys Torres Rivera in Hanoi, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), reaffirmed that Vietnam and Cuba have a long-standing close and friendly relationship and hoped that the two countries' Chambers of Commerce will have more practical actions to further strengthen economic, trade and investment ties in the coming time.

He emphasized that the bilateral political ties have been developing well with high trust, strengthened by regular exchanges of high-level diplomatic missions. Besides, the two sides have given each other special cooperation mechanisms from central to local levels.

Dr. Loc also spoke highly of Cuba’s efforts and actions in economic development and global economic integration. And, VCCI, with its functions and tasks, will work closely with Cuban friends and businesses to create many mutually beneficial cooperation mechanisms, especially in key areas such as import, export and investment.

“The two sides also need to focus on specific and practical works to strengthen exchanges between the two business communities to acquire experience and seek new investment opportunities. Doing this well, Vietnamese goods will have the opportunity to penetrate further into potential Latin American nations. The two sides also consider jointly opening a website to introduce each other's potential strengths like key economic sectors, import and export and attractive investment projects in Cuba,” said the VCCI President.

At the meeting, Cuban Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera hailed Vietnam's economic achievements in the past year. He reiterated the close cooperation between Cuba and Vietnam in 2018 with about 100 Cuban business delegations arriving in Vietnam to seek investment opportunities and acquire economic development experience.

Also in 2018, the two sides agreed to sign important deals such as New Trade Agreement and Finance Protocol on Financial Disbursement and Management of Vietnam - Cuba Rice Production Cooperation Project in 2019 - 2023, she said.

Vietnam is currently Cuba's second largest trading partner in Asia and Oceania. The two-way trade value averaged US$170 million a year in 2012 - 2014, US$218 million in 2015, and US$230 million a year in 2016 and 2017. Vietnam ran a surplus in trade with Cuba. Vietnam’s key exports to Cuba included rice, coffee, chemicals, apparels, footwear, computers and components, construction materials, ceramics, machinery, equipment and parts. Vietnam's imports from Cuba were mainly vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

In addition, rice continued to be the biggest item, accounting for approximately 60% of Vietnam's export turnover to Cuba. Vietnam shipped 350,000 - 400,000 tons of rice a year. The two sides also signed an agreement on conclusion of new trade pact negotiations. When signed, this deal will bring substantial benefits to both countries and elevate Vietnam - Cuba economic and trade relations on par with special political relations. At the same time, it will establish a solid legal basis for raising the two-way trade value to US$500 million in the next five years.

The two countries also agreed on oil and gas production cooperation in Cuba, boosted potential telecom cooperation between Vietnam’s Viettel Group and Cuba’s ETECSA.

According to Cuban Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera, in November 2018, the two countries hosted the 36th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee. In its minutes, the two sides agreed to strengthen trade promotion and seek new investment and business opportunities. The two sides also planned the 8th Business Joint Committee Meeting on April 9, 2019.

“I am confident that the close coordination between the Chamber of Commerce of the Cuban Embassy and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry will make this meeting a success,” she emphasized.

Anh Phuong