Cuban, Vietnamese businesses seek more opportunities

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 15:56

Rice is packed for export at Song Hau Food Company. Food is among items Viet Nam is shipping to Cuba. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh - Ảnh:

HA NOI — Cuban and Vietnamese firms met yesterday at an event held by the Embassy of Cuba in Viet Nam and by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to seek business opportunities and enhance co-operation.

The meeting provided opportunities for Vietnamese firms to connect with the Foreign Trade Business Group (GECOMEX), the leading trade firm of Cuba, which accounts for 34 per cent of the Caribbean island nation’s import value and 15 per cent of export value.

Cuban Ambassador to Viet Nam Herminio Lopez Diaz, said the government of Cuba was willing to work with Vietnamese firms for the country’s development and prosperity, as well as for long-term and sustainable trade and economic co-operation between the two countries. He expects Vietnamese firms to increase their presence in Cuba, while Cuba will expand export of its products to Viet Nam.

During the past five years, Cuba hastened its reforms to promote socioeconomic development, issuing policies to create favourable conditions for businesses and investors.

In December 2014, US President Obama ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba, after a 50 year interruption. In March 2016, Cuba and the European Union signed a deal normalising their relations, creating conditions for Cuba to open up its economy and to promote the development of Cuban businesses during Cuba’s rapid global integration.

According to Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI’s deputy chairman, Vietnamese firms have many opportunities to invest and do business in Cuba in sectors like tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, consumer goods, footwear and garment industry.

Cuba could also promote co-operation with Viet Nam in sectors where Cuba has strengths, such as pharmacy, healthcare, education and construction.

Khuong said Cuba is also a gateway for Vietnamese firms to expand in the Latin American market, the EU, and the US.

“Promoting economic ties between the two countries is the responsibility of the two governments as well as the businesses communities,” Khuong said. Bilateral co-operation in trade and investment is expected to develop significantly in the future.

Khuong said there is large untapped potential, given the long-lasting special friendship between the two nations.

The two-way trade reached US$235 million last year, largely from Viet Nam’s exports. Imports from Cuba remained modest.

Viet Nam exported food, footwear, garment and textile products, chemicals, and building materials to Cuba. It imported medicines and food supplements from the Caribbean country.

Statistics of the Ministry of Planning and Investment show that as of the end of last year, Cuba had only one project in Viet Nam with a registered capital of $66 million. Meanwhile, a number of Vietnamese firms, including PetroVietnam, Viglacera and Hanel, expanded their investments in Cuba. — VNS

Comments (0)