HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam and Cuba seek to expand co-operation in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, said Doan Duy Khuong, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry deputy chairman, yesterday at a conference in Ha Noi.
There was much potential for growth, as two-way trade remained limited at only US$485 million in 2012, according to Khuong.
Exports from Cuba to Viet Nam totaled US$6 million, about 50 per cent of which came from pharmaceutical products.
Cuba Ambassador to Viet Nam Fredesman Turro Gonzalez said that the healthcare sector was among the most promising areas for renewed co-operation efforts.
He said his country's medical science and biotechnology fields had created many unique vaccines and hoped some would be manufactured in Viet Nam under technology transfer.
An expert from the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology said 80 per cent of vaccines used in Cuba for the Immunization Programme were produced by the country. Cuba has so far eradicated polio, malaria, tetanus, measles and rubella, as well as many other diseases.
Do Tuan Dat, director of the Viet Nam Company for Vaccine and Biological Production 1, said the company was willing to receive vaccine technology transfer from Cuba to lower costs, reduce possible risks during transport and ensure the adequacy of vaccines for the domestic market. He called for support from the two governments for research and production of vaccines, saying that many Cuban vaccines were not competitively priced in Viet Nam. — VNS