Vietnam, Cuba bring relationship to level of comprehensive development

06:00 | 13/10/2021 Cooperation

(VEN) - Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Cuba from September 18-20 was not only an important occasion for the two countries to maintain high-level dialogue amid the Covid-19 pandemic but also reaffirm their determination to bring the bilateral relationship to a new level of comprehensive development based on mutual political trust.

Multifaceted cooperation

Since Vietnam and Cuba officially established diplomatic relations 61 years ago, bilateral economic, trade and investment relations have been growing well.

vietnam cuba bring relationship to level of comprehensive development

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) meets Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz - Photo: VNA

Bilateral trade achieved an impressive double-digit growth from 2015 to 2018. Specifically, bilateral trade hit US$335.3 million in 2018, up 43 percent from 2017.

Vietnam has four licensed investment projects in Cuba with total registered capital of US$51 million. In particular, the Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement, which was signed in 2018 and took effect in 2020, marked an important step forward in bilateral economic relations. However, bilateral trade declined in 2020 and 2021.

At their meeting, President Phuc and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez expressed satisfaction with the growing ties between the two countries, reaffirming their determination to accelerate the special relations to a new development period on the basis of mutual political trust, as well as to expand their partnership in all fields. They also briefed each other on the situation in their countries and discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.

They agreed to continue online and offline exchanges, focusing on such areas as food security, information network safety, communications, maintenance of historical memory and close cooperation in the fields of national defense, security and foreign affairs.

The two sides emphasized that they would coordinate to efficiently implement the Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement, make the most of the agreement's incentives, and increase bilateral trade to make it commensurate with its potential and the good political relations between the two countries.

Vietnam has become the largest Asian-Oceania investor in Cuba, and Cuba emphasized that it would encourage additional Vietnamese business. Cuba will consider the potential and strengths of each country to expand cooperation in priority sectors and fields such as energy, telecommunications, tourism, construction, medical services, industry, agriculture, food, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and transportation industries.

Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement

Within the framework of President Phuc's visit, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien met with Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz to promote bilateral economic, trade and investment and help businesses make effective use of commitments in the Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement.

vietnam cuba bring relationship to level of comprehensive development
Cuba is considering expansion of energy cooperation with Vietnam

Vietnam can supply Cuba with various consumer goods, footwear, textile and garment, and construction materials, while Cuba wants to promote the export of its strong goods including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical services. At the meeting, Minister Nguyen Hong Dien proposed that Cuba adopt preferential policies and create favorable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises operating in Cuba.

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz emphasized that Cuba wants to increase bilateral trade to US$500 million.

On this occasion, on behalf of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, Minister Nguyen Hong Dien presented Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment with protective clothing and medical masks to help Cuba control the pandemic.

Many cooperation documents were signed during President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Cuba from September 18-20, including a medium-term economic cooperation agreement, agreements on cooperation in the fields of justice, health, fisheries, agriculture and cybersecurity, and a number of business cooperation agreements on clean energy and hotel construction.

Tue Minh