Trade with Cuba leaps 45 per cent

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 08:00

Workers load rice in Binh Chanh District in HCM City.  Food and grain are Viet Nam's key exports to Cuba. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Investment opportunities in Cuba was the central theme of a workshop organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Ha Noi yesterday.

The conference attracted participants from the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, entrepreneurs and enterprises from both countries.

Doan Duy Khuong, deputy chairman of the VCCI, emphasised that the two governments had boosted multifaceted relationship, especially in construction, traffic, bio-technology, agriculture, education and health during their 55 years of diplomatic relations, established in 1960.

The two nations had a number of long-standing economic-trade agreements, such as the agreement on trade exchanges and other economic cooperation signed in 1996; an agreement on investment encouragement and protection from 1995; and an agreement on tourism co-operation signed in 1999, Khuong added.

Bilateral trade turnover between Viet Nam and Cuba increased by 45 per cent to US$207.5 million last year.

$206m turnover

Viet Nam's export turnover to Cuba reached $206 million, while the country imported almost $1 million of goods from Cuba.

The country's key exports to Cuba included food, grain, confectionary, footwear, pottery, building materials, coal, textiles and garments and chemicals. Viet Nam imports mainly medicine and functional food from Cuba.

Normalisation with US

The US and Cuba are moving toward normalisation of relations for the first time in more than fifty years, creating an opportunity for Cuba to develop its economy, said Orlando Hernandez Guillen, president of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce.

This was also an opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to invest and trade in Cuba in the fields of tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, consumer goods, footwear, garments and textiles, which are sectors that Viet Nam had advantages in and Cuba is in need of, added Orlando.

Cuba holds strengths in medicine, education, health and construction. The establishment of the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) is expected to facilitate Vietnamese investment in the Caribbean and offer a gateway to the US and other Latin American countries.

Cuba had one investment project in Viet Nam with total registration capital of $6.6 million, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Viet Nam has two oil and gas exploration projects in Cuba being conducted by the PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Corporation (PVEP). — VNS

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