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.

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Vietnam and Cuba open Intergovernmental Commission session

Vietnamese and Cuban experts assessed on Monday the possibilities of bilateral trade and cooperation in what was the prologue to the 37th Session of the Intergovernmental Commission between the two nations.

The two countries worked in three commissions: one referring to industry, trade, construction, banking, finance, investments, transportation, communication, education, culture, sports and tourism; another on agriculture and fishing; and a third, on science, technology, biotechnology and health.

The results of these deliberations will serve as a basis to begin, early in the morning, the Intergovernmental Commission itself.

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca and Vietnamese Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha, the ministry that governs bilateral ties on the Vietnamese side since they emerged almost 60 years ago, lead their corresponding delegations to the Intergovernmental Commission.

Vietnam is Cuba's second most important trading partner in Asia and Oceania and the tenth worldwide.

Trade between the two nations currently stands at around US$300 million, but the common intention is to raise this to US$500 million in the short term. At present, more than 100 Vietnamese companies do business with Cuba.

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Cuban leader wishes Vietnam more success

Cuba wishes Vietnam more achievements in a peaceful and friendship environment, stated First Vice President of the Cuban Council of State and Council of Ministers Salvador Valdes Mesa at a ceremony marking Vietnam’s 74th National Day in Havana on September 6.

She said that the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945 was a significant event to not only the Vietnamese people but also Cuban people as well as other nations struggling for independence in the world.

In his speech, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cuba Nguyen Trung Thanh reviewed major milestones in Vietnam’s national construction and defence history as well as international integration over the past 74 years since the moment President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence at Ba Dinh Square.

He expressed gratitude to all nations and progressive forces in the world, especially Cuban people, for accompanying and supporting Vietnam throughout its journey.

The ambassador showed his delight at the development of the Vietnam-Cuba relations over the years, affirming that with the high political trust and mutual understanding between the two nations, the bilateral ties will further thrive, benefiting the development process in each country and becoming the symbol of international solidarity and partnership.

The event was attended by about 500 guests, including Cuban officials and diplomats from other countries in Cuba, as well as Vietnamese people in the country.

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Deputy PM receives President of Cuban Supreme Court

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh hosted a reception in Hanoi on August 26 for President of the People’s Supreme Court of Cuba Rubén Remigio Ferro, who is on a working visit to Vietnam.

Binh said the Vietnam-Cuba cooperation and friendship are special, profound and faithful relations that have been increasingly tightened.

The Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people always keep in mind the great support and wholehearted assistance from the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people throughout history, he noted.

The Deputy PM added that Vietnam always advocates the Caribbean nation’s just struggle and firmly believes that the updating of Cuba’s socio-economic model will open up a new development stage for the sake of the Cuban people.

For his part, Ferro said the relations with the Vietnamese Party and people are of utmost importance to Cuba.

He noted Cuba has just had a new constitution. Its judicial sector is learning useful experience from Vietnam, and it hopes to receive more assistance from Vietnamese experts in the time ahead, he added.

Binh expressed his hope that constitutional changes in Cuba will help the country soon attain the targets of the path to socialism, promote foreign investment, change the economic structure and modernise society.

Leaders of the Vietnamese Party and State always strongly support the two court systems’ cooperation, on which a memorandum of understanding was signed in September 2013, he said, noting that the expansion of this partnership to local courts has helped strengthen overall relations and meet the Vietnamese and Cuban provincial-level courts’ demand for judicial and legal information sharing.

Vietnam is ready to share its experience, both successes and failures, in this field with Cuba to help the latter soon obtain its reform targets, the Deputy PM emphasised.

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Vietnam ready to share reform experience with Cuba

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man has affirmed that Vietnam is ready to share reform experience with Cuba.

During his talks in Hanoi on August 19 with President of the Cuban Committee for the Defence of the Revolution Carlos Rafael Miranda Martinez, Man affirmed the Vietnamese Party, State and people’s consistent support for Cuba’s struggle for the full removal of unilateral embargo.

Man spoke highly the exchange of regular visits at all levels to enhance economic, trade and investment ties, with more Vietnamese firms interested in doing business in Cuba. Defence-security and agriculture collaboration between the two nations has thrived, he said.

The Front leader expected that both sides would step up the practical development of political ties by fostering solidarity between the Vietnamese and Cuban Parties, States, fronts and people.

Man suggested the two sides enhance information sharing, work closely together on issues of shared concern, support each country’s interests in line with international law, as well as fostering friendship with countries in the region and the world.

Martinez, for his part, said ties between Cuba and Vietnam have been developing fruitfully in the fields of politics, economy, trade, national defence-security, agriculture and health care.

He hoped that the outcomes of talks will beef up ties between the two fronts, towards the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year.

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Raúl and Díaz-Canel receive Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, and Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, yesterday afternoon received the Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, on an official visit to our country.

During the amicable meeting, the leaders discussed the deep bonds of brotherhood that unite the two peoples, parties, and governments, as well as their countries’ respective experiences in the construction of socialism. They likewise discussed the excellent state of bilateral relations and the implementation of agreements reached between Vietnam and Cuba, along with a number of topics on the international agenda.

The distinguished guest was accompanied by Nguyen Quoc Cuong, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, and Nguyen Trung Thanh, ambassador to Cuba.

Also participating on the Cuban side were Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Political Bureau member and Foreign Minister; and ambassador in Vietnam, Lianys Torres Rivera.

As part of her agenda on the island, the distinguished visitor also met on July 8 with Salvador Valdés Mesa, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, among other activities.

Additionally, along with authorities from Cuba’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Vietnamese Vice President toured areas of the Los Palacios agro-industrial combine, in the province of Pinar de Río, in particular those involved in the cooperation project her country sponsors to support the development of rice production here.

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HCM City signs deal with Cuba on science-technology cooperation

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba on June 28 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in development and managing science-technology zones.

Under the MoU, the two sides will share professional knowledge and best practice in setting up, managing and developing scientific-industrial parks and incubators. They are also to exchange information and experts in developing hi-tech zones and support firms wishing to engage in technology transfer and invest in science-technology and hi-tech zones.

Speaking prior to the signing ceremony, Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong welcomed the visit of Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Elba Rosa Perez Montoya.

He stressed that the city pays special attention to industrial and hi-tech parks, and wishes to intensify cooperation with Cuba in the field of science-technology through specific joint projects, bringing benefits to both sides.

The Cuban minister expressed her impression at the dynamic development of Ho Chi Minh City, and invited the city’s officials to attend the inaugural of Cuba’s first science-technology zone this November.

Minister Elba Rosa Perez Montoya said Cuba is implementing a long-term socio-economic development to 2030 and has adopted many policies to stimulate science-technology and innovation. She noted that Cuba hopes to learn from the experience in development and foreign investment attraction of Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular.

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Vietnam asks for Russian help to help preserve Ho Chi Minh corpse

The embalmed body of Vietnam's founding leader lies in a mausoleum in Hanoi, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

Vietnam has formed a special team of experts - including four Russian scientists - to help preserve the embalmed body of the Communist-ruled state's founding leader, Ho Chi Minh, according to a written copy of the official decision seen by Reuters news agency. 

The special council has been created to assess the condition of Ho's corpse, which was first embalmed nearly 50 years ago and work is due to start next month. 

"The council is tasked with proposing plans and scientific measures to preserve and protect the absolute safety of Chairman Ho Chi Minh's body for the long term," Reuters reported the decision as saying.

Several countries have benefitted from the expertise of the Soviet Union's "Lenin Lab", which put the embalmed body of former leader Vladimir Lenin on display in Moscow shortly after his death in 1924.

China, North Korea and Vietnam have all embalmed their founding leaders with assistance from the Soviet Union.

The bodies require regular and expensive upkeep and occasional re-embalming to maintain their condition. 

The late Vietnamese leader, affectionately known as "Uncle Ho" in Vietnam, is preserved in a large Soviet-built mausoleum in the capital, Hanoi, where he is displayed in a glass coffin in the dark interior.

The site attracts thousands of visitors each year. 

Unique chemical mixture

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed a wreath outside the mausoleum in March after the conclusion of his shortened summit with United States President Donald Trump

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia started to charge Vietnam for its supply of a unique chemical mixture required to embalm Ho, according to the mausoleum's website. 

In 2003, Vietnam asked Russia to move the production of the chemical cocktail to the Southeast Asian country and dispatched scientists to Moscow to learn the secrets of the Lenin Lab.

"In the early days, Russian experts produced the chemicals secretly, without letting us know," Cao Dinh Kiem, a museum official, told Vietnamese state media in April.

"When they finished, Vietnamese workers were assigned to clean up the site and we got the chance to study the gauze and fluids that remained."

Vietnamese scientists have now mastered the art of mummification, but Russian scientists are still regularly called on to help with the annual maintenance of Ho's body. 

Ho led the Viet Minh independence movement from 1941, defeating the French Union in 1945 and going on to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He died in 1969.

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