Conference promotes investment, trade with Cuba

Việt Nam-Cuba investment and trade ties have great untapped potential, a conference heard in HCM City on Monday.

Speaking at the conference, titled "Cuba – a potential market for Vietnamese enterprises", the country’s consul general in HCM City, Indira López Arguelles, said her government is soliciting foreign investment, especially in the Mariel Economic Development Zone, which offers good conditions for Vietnamese firms to invest.

Tourism, renewable energy, bio-technology, light industry, food, property, agriculture, and infrastructure are among the sectors in which it seeks foreign investment, she said.

Phạm Thiết Hòa, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City, said: “The Cuban market offers great potential for Vietnamese businesses in sectors like tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, consumer goods, footwear, and garments and textiles, areas in which Việt Nam has strength.

Cuban firms are strong in the pharmaceutical, training, medical, and construction sectors, and can enhance co-operation with their Vietnamese counterparts in these fields, he said.

Trade between Việt Nam and Cuba has increased significantly in recent years, but remains modest compared with the potential, he said.

Of the $250 million trade in 2016, Việt Nam’s exports to Cuba accounted for $240 million, he said.

Trần Ngọc Thuận, deputy general director of Thái Bình Investment Trading Corp, which has 20 years’ experience in the Cuban market, said Cuba’s imports from Việt Nam account for a very small portion of its total imports, and there is still a lot of scope for Vietnamese firms to promote exports to the country, he said.

Cuba has to import 60-65 per cent of its food needs while Vietnamese firms are strong in the sector, he said.

Businesses from the two sides can co-operate in agriculture to serve the Cuban market and also export to Latin American countries, the conference heard.

With Cuba seeking to boost domestic production to gradually reduce imports, investors should think of the long term by investing in production there instead of focusing just on trading, delegates said.

They said investment and trade in each other’s countries remains modest due to the limited market information and investment policies of enterprises.

Besides, difficulties in making payments and the use of dual currencies and foreign exchange rates are among other obstacles to trade, Arguelles said.

Việt Nam and Cuba are negotiating a free trade agreement to facilitate trade, she said.

Some Vietnamese firms have invested in Cuba, she said, hoping more would do so.

Hòa said the ITPC would organise a visit by a business delegation to Cuba next month to enable Vietnamese firms to understand more about that market and seek partners.

Việt Nam’s main export items to Cuba are rice, coffee, chemicals, ceramics, and machinery and parts. It imports vaccines and pharmaceutical products.

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Cuba Mourns Human Losses in Vietnam Due to Floods

Cuban President Raul Castro has sent a message to the leaders and people of Vietnam that local media reproduced today, to testify the Cuban people's sorrow for the losses the recent floods caused to the country.

'On behalf of the Cuban Communist Party, government and people, I extend the deepest condolences for the human and material losses suffered after the floods and landslides, caused by heavy rains that affected several provinces in the northern region of the country,' the letter says.

This letter was addressed to General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong; President Tran Dai Quang; and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, with the explicit request that they send condolences to the families of the victims and affected people.

The worst floods of recent years in Vietnam killed 75 people and missed 35 in the northern mountainous area.

Located in the subtropical belt of the planet, the two nations are frequent victims of hurricanes and they renew a friendship that was forged in difficult times for Vietnam, the war for its independence.

The Vietnamese leaders sent a message of solidarity and encouragement to Cuba after the havoc of Hurricane Irma, which killed 10 people and left huge economic losses in the island.

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Vietnam Sends Aid to Cuba to Help Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Vietnemese leaders have sent letters of solidarity to the Cuban people and government following the devastating Hurricane Irma.

Vietnam is formalizing a plan to send Cuba a shipment of aid as they recover from the damages caused by Hurricane Irma after it ripped along the Caribbean country's coast as a category 5 hurricane last week, Prensa Latina reported.

RELATED: Cuba Cleans Up Hurricane Damage, Receives Venezuela Aid

The vice president of the Union of Friendship Organizations of Vietnam (VUFO), Don Tuan Phong, spoke to Prensa Latina saying that the Vietnamese express their solidarity and encouragement to Cuba, emphasizing the close economic, political and cultural ties build between their nations. Phong said that Cuba has been with Vietnam during its most difficult times.

Earlier this week, Vietnamese leaders, including Communist Party Secretary-General Nguyen Phu Trong, President Tran Dai Quang, and the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent letters of condolences and solidarity to the Cuban people and government.

Phong also said that a Vietnamese delegation will be traveling to Cuba in October to participate in the commemoration for the 50th anniversary of Che Guevara's assassination.

Teams of volunteers are currently beginning the long process of cleaning and rebuilding from the damage left in the wake of Hurricane Irma, a hurricane that meteorologists have described as one of the most powerful in the Caribbean in a century.

Venezuela has contributed ten tons of material aid, including food, drinking water, medicine, and other needed items to Cuba, in addition to its assistance to other affected Caribbean islands.

For its part, Cuba has sent 771 medical professionals to other Caribbean islands suffering the storm's devastation.

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Vietnam, Cuba promote cooperative ties

At a reception for Cuban First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelino Medina Gonzalez in Hanoi on September 6, Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh lauded the outcomes of the recent fourth political consultation at the Deputy Foreign Minister level, saying that it contributes to consolidating solidarity between the two nations and two ministries.

Minh praised Cuba for its achievements over the years, reiterating the support the Party, State and people of Vietnam have for the Cuban people.

The two sides should promote cooperation in various areas, such as agriculture, construction material, consumer goods, renewable energy, biotechnology, medicine and pharmacy while supporting each other at international organisations.

For his part, Deputy Minister Marcelino Medina Gonzalez said Cuba attaches significance to studies of Vietnam’s experience in the Doi Moi (renewal) process.

Previously during his visit to Vietnam from September 4-6, the Cuban First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc co-chaired the fourth political consultation at the Deputy Foreign Minister level.

He also had separate meetings with Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha, Co-Chairman of the Vietnam – Cuba Intergovernmental Committee; Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for External Relations Tran Dac Loi; and visited the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

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Cuban Vice President Evaluates Exchanges and Projects with a Minister of Vietnam

The Vice President and Minister of Economy and Planning of Cuba, Ricardo Cabrisas, and the head of Vietnam's Finance, Dinh Tien Dung, Advances in the exchange of bilateral experiences, as well as joint investment project negotiations.

During the meeting, Cabrisas informed the Vietnamese minister about The main agreements of the VII Congress of the Communist Party of the island in the economic area and on the result of the economy in the first half of 2017, according to the state Cuban News Agency.

In the first half of this year, Cuba managed to halt the decline of its economy, after having registered a decrease of 0.9% in 2016 - The first recession in the last 23 years, according to official data, and for the moment maintains GDP growth forecast at 2%.

Minister Dinh Tien Dung, Who made an official visit to the island in charge of a delegation of businessmen and officials of the agency he heads, referred to the close relations of the latter with the Ministry of Finance and Prices through the permanent exchanges carried out during the last ten years.

He also informed Cabrisas about a donation of means of infocommunication To support training and working contacts.

The meeting also included the Cuban Minister of Finance and Prices, Lina Pedraza, along with officials from that portfolio and the Department of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.

Cuba and Vietnam tightened ties since the 1960s, when they became symbols of resistance to the US, And visits to the island by members of both the Government and the Communist Party of Vietnam are frequent.

Vietnam, considered by Cuba as a political and economic ally, is the second The Asian trading partner of the island after China, with a bilateral exchange that in recent years amounted to 200 million dollars on average.

Vietnam exports to the island Products such as rice and consumer goods, while the Caribbean country sends him biological products and medicines.

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NA leader lauds ambassador’s efforts to tighten Vietnam-Cuba links

National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan received outgoing Cuban Ambassador Herminio Lopez Diaz on August 21, appreciating the diplomat’s contributions to Vietnam-Cuba special traditional relations during his term.

She expressed her delight at the growth of bilateral relations over the past years, noting that political ties have continually been enhanced through the maintenance of delegation exchanges at all levels between the countries’ Parties, States, parliaments, ministries, sectors and localities.

Congratulating Cuba on its political, economic and diplomatic achievements, which have helped create prerequisites for next development stages, she voiced her belief that the Cuban people will obtain even greater achievements in updating their economic model.

At the meeting, Ambassador Herminio Lopez Diaz shared the outcomes of his working term in Vietnam, as well as his sentiment towards the country and people of Vietnam.

Noting the close parliamentary cooperation, he added aside from the thriving political-diplomatic relations, the countries’ cooperation in other spheres, including health care, have also been being promoted.

[Vietnam, Cuba agree to beef up legislative ties]

It’s now a good time for the two countries to increase economic and trade partnerships, he said, adding that the Cuban Embassy and the embassies of other Latin American nations want to establish a centre of Latin American culture in Vietnam.

Chairwoman Ngan and the ambassador agreed that the Vietnam-Cuba solidarity and friendship are a precious asset that the two Parties and nations need to treasure and hand down to future generations.

Herminio Lopez Diaz promised on whichever positions he will hold after returning to Cuba, he will always support and help nurture the time-honoured solidarity and friendship between the two countries

  • Published in Cuba

Top Vietnamese Leaders Pay Tribute to Fidel Castro

Hanoi, Nov 28 (Prensa Latina) Vietnam's top leaders have today paid tribute to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, in the book of condolences which has been opened at the Cuban embassy in Vietnam.

Nguyen Phu Trong, Secretary-General of the Communist Party, began the tribute, followed some minutes later by President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.They asked ambassador Herminio Lopez to convey their regret and solidarity with Cuba on behalf of the Vietnamese people.

After giving their message, Phu Trong referred to Fidel Castro as a great leader of the international communist movement and recalled Fidel's words, 'For Vietnam we are willing to offer even our own blood.'

President Dai Quang considered Fidel a close friend, comrade and close brother and said that his work would always live in the revolutions of both peoples and the progressive forces of the world.

He also recalled some moments of his recent visit to Havana and said that meeting Fidel was an honor, stating that the image of the revolutionary fighter would always be in his heart.

An official delegation, led by Communist Party Political Bureau member and National Assembly President, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, is expected to attend the funeral of the leader of the Revolution.

According to reports, the homage which begun today at the Cuban embassy will be extended until December 4.

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Cuba's Fidel Castro receives visiting Vietnamese president

Cuban leader Fidel Castro held a "fraternal" meeting with the president of Vietnam in Havana Tuesday, shortly after the latter began a visit to the Caribbean island.

In the meeting, Castro and Vietnam's Tran Dai Quang said their countries will emerge victorious in their "common ongoing struggle," reported state broadcasters.

Castro and Tran agreed the visit will further cement the historical friendship between their peoples, according to a statement cited by the news reports.

The 90-year-old Cuban Revolution leader, who retired in 2006, recalled his visits to Vietnam and his earlier meetings with other top leaders of the Southeast Asian country, and expressed his admiration for Vietnamese revolutionary hero Ho Chi Minh.

Castro and Tran also discussed economic and social development in the context of climate change, armed conflicts in various regions, continuous growth in world population, low oil prices and the challenge of increasing food production on a global scale.

In recent months, Castro has received several visiting leaders to Cuba at his residence, including Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, and the premiers of Japan and China, Shinzo Abe and Li Keqiang, respectively.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Tran will also hold talks with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, and receive the Order of José Martí, the highest Cuban state honor for foreigners.

Cuba and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1960, a year after the triumph of a revolution led by Castro, and have since then enjoyed friendly political and economic ties, including cooperation in agriculture, tourism, construction and education.

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