VN, Cuba seek to expand investment, trade ties

17-Sep-2019 Intellasia | VNS | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Trade and investment ties between Vietnam and Cuba are not commensurate with their potential and there is a lot of room for them to grow, a seminar on business cooperation opportunities between the two countries heard in HCM City on Friday.

Deputy minister of Construction Le Quang Hung said bilateral trade and investment ties had achieved positive results in recent years.

Last year, trade increased by 25 per cent to $335 million, he said.

Vietnam is Cuba’s second largest trading partner in the Asia-Pacific, and their trade is diverse, according to Hung.

“Some Vietnamese projects have begun operation in Cuba and supplied products to the market such as Thai Binh Investment and Trade JSC’s diaper production project in the Mariel Special Development Zone, and a SANVIG joint venture company that produces construction materials in San Jose and Santa Cruz.”

The two countries have increased cooperation in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors, in which Cuba is strong.

Cuban minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz said bilateral trade had increased significantly in recent years but was still not commensurate with the relationship and potential.

Therefore, the two sides had set targets to enhance investment by Vietnamese firms in Cuba, increase export of Cuban products to Vietnam, co-ordinate with Vietnamese firms in developing the hi-tech sector in Vietnam, and consolidate bilateral cooperation, he said.

Cuba faced difficulties including shortage of financial resources and ability to pay in foreign currencies, and so his government was working to improve the efficiency of the use of existing resources, promote exports and attract more foreign investment, he said.

Last year, his country issued a list of 525 projects to solicit investment of $11.6 billion in 2018-19, and would soon announce the list of projects for investment in 2019-20, he said.

Cuba is establishing industrial and service development zones, and is reforming its pricing policy, eliminating subsidies and recognising the role of the market, according to the Cuban minister. It is also improving payment systems and promoting cooperation in the tech sector.

The country’s new constitution safeguards the rights of foreign investors.

Officials from the Cuban Ministry of Health and Mariel Special Development Zone also spoke about the potential for further cooperation in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors between the two countries and investment opportunities for Vietnamese in the zone.

Anna Terresa, general director of the zone, said the huge geographical distance between Vietnam and Cuba was no longer a big problem that hindered their trade and investment ties.

With their strength in consumer and household goods, Vietnamese firms could invest in producing them to exploit the Cuban and many other South American countries, she said.

Through Vietnam, Cuba also would have the opportunity to expand cooperation with Asian countries, she added.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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