Việt Nam to facilitate investment in Cuba: PM

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc received Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz in Hà Nội on Tuesday, pledging to encourage Vietnamese firms’ investment in the Caribbean nation.

Welcoming the delegation to Việt Nam for a meeting of the Việt Nam-Cuba Intergovernmental Committee, Phúc said Việt Nam was delighted at the socio-economic achievements Cuba had obtained recently, noting that the two peoples had a special and faithful relationship that was increasingly consolidated.

Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz vowed every effort to help the inter-governmental committee work effectively.

He said although the Cuban economy was facing numerous difficulties due to sanctions, it was still striving to move forwards. He also appreciated Việt Nam’s rice supply for his country and expressed his hope that the Vietnamese Government would create conditions for businesses to continue the provision.

Highlighting both countries’ resolve to raise bilateral trade to US$500 million in 2020, the official said Cuba wanted to boost exports to Việt Nam, especially healthcare services and biological products, and also wished to attract more investment from the Southeast Asian nation as there are many Vietnamese firms operating effectively in Cuba at present.

Cuba was considering mechanisms and policy improvements to better its investment climate and attract more foreign investment, he noted, adding that as Việt Nam was experienced in agriculture, his country hoped Việt Nam would assist in this field.

As the two countries mark 60 years of their diplomatic relationship in 2020, they should work closely together to organise many practical celebratory activities so as to further promote the traditional friendship, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz said.

He added Cuba highly valued Việt Nam’s growing role and stature, especially when Việt Nam will serve as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-21 and the ASEAN chair next year.

At the reception, Phúc said the Communist Party and people of Việt Nam always kept in mind the strong support and wholehearted assistance from the Communist Party and people of Cuba during the struggle for national independence and reunification in the past as well as the building of a socialist nation at present.

Việt Nam would continue to work closely with Cuba to ensure stable rice supply and promote its investment in the Caribbean country, he affirmed.

Regarding agricultural co-operation, Việt Nam was ready to assist Cuba on the basis of the latter’s potential and advantages, he said, welcoming Cuba’s intention to boost the export of healthcare services to Việt Nam.
The PM also asked the two countries’ ministries and sectors to continue researching solutions to advance bilateral relations in a result-oriented manner.

He stressed that Việt Nam always supported the Cuban people’s just fight and consistently advocated Cuba’s stance at UN forums.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Minister and ECLAC Executive Secretary Meet in Switzerland

Havana, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca held a meeting in Davos, Switzerland, with Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), it was reported on Wednesday.

The meeting was fruitful and the next activities of ECLAC, in which Cuba takes over the pro-tempore presidency, were coordinated, Malmierca posted on his Twitter account.

The minister also reported that he held a working meeting with Marisol Argueta, executive director for Latin America at the World Economic Forum, in which they exchanged views on the economic situation in the region.

Malmierca, who attends the 49th edition of the World Economic Forum, held in Davos, previously participated in a panel on technological development in which he explained Cuba's strategy to attract foreign investment in this area.

There, the minister highlighted the project proposed in Tarea-Vida (Life-Task), a Cuban State's plan to face climate change, and also commented that Cuba is promoting projects related to recycling garbage as one of the ways to achieve sustainable development and take care of the environment.

The updating of technology using renewable sources for generation and recycling all areas are other working lines in Cuba to achieve sustainable development, he explained.

The World Economic Forum, taking place from Tuesday to Friday, brings together about 3,000 participants, including more than 60 heads of State and government, 100 ministerial-level authorities and 1,000 leaders of the most influential companies of a score of industries, organizers previously reviewed.

  • Published in Cuba

Foreign Investment Grew in Cuba in 2018

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) grew in 2018, Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca said, adding 40 new business deals were struck amounting to 1.5 billion dollars.

Of those contracts, 35 are already being executed, the official pointed out at the Round Table TV news hour last night.

Malmierca recalled that since 2013 Cuba open business to FDI under a new policy on foreign capital with a sectorial approach.

The Minister mentioned the flow of FDI has been hindered by Washington's hardened economic and financial hostility. He added the US blockade not only damage Cuban companies, but enterprises from around the world as well.

He also spoke of problems resulting from the use of a double currency and liquidity shortage, plus 'subjective hurdles' such as delays and lack of trained staff. However, he expressed hopes these issues can be solved gradually.

Cuba needs 2 billion dollar FDI a year to boost the economy and put it on solid manner, but it has been unable to reach that figure so far, he admitted.

For her part, the Ministry's investment manager, Deborah Rivas, told the Round Table that since 2014 the number of business opportunities in the country's investment portfolio has been growing. In 2014, Cuba offered foreign investors 246 business projects and this year, 525, she added.

Some of those projects are being executed in tourism, such as hotel building and other infrastructure works, Construction Minister Rene Mesa said.

He highlighted there are 6,000 builders currently working in Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM, in Spanish), where they have completed 217,5 kilometers of road, 103 kilometers of railroad, 132 kilometers of aqueducts and 384,7 kilometers of power grid.

Invited to the Round Table, ZEDM's general manager Ana Teresa Igarza said this special business project in the western province of Artemisa has taken a big economic step.

She mentioned 300 million dollar investment was required to complete 200 hectares of infrastructure this year, including the completion in March 2018 of a multimodal terminal, which will be connected to the railway network.

The ZEDM has an employment potential of 10,000 people on diverse sectors; 43 business contracts have been struck so far, amounting to 474 million dollars of FDI, Igarza outlined.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Foreign Trade Minister visits Canada to expand trade links

Cuba's Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, is making an official visit to Canada until Thursday, November 22, to participate in official meetings with politicians and representatives of the business sectors in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Local media report that the Cuban official will meet with Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, and Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, to discuss the expansion of trade relations, investment and cooperation between the two nations.

Malmierca will also hold meetings with the presidents of the Canadian Senate and House of Commons, George Furey and Geoff Regan, respectively.

The Cuban minister and his delegation will make several presentations on new investment opportunities in Cuba and will hold conversations with executives of Canadian companies with a long presence in Cuba, including Sherritt International, as well as businessmen, officials and academics from the government of Quebec, whose province is Cuba's largest trading partner in Canada.

Canada is Cuba's fourth-largest trading partner in the world, the second-largest investor and the first source of tourists to the island.

  • Published in Cuba
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