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Vietnamese, Cuban firms seek stronger ties

Update: June, 24/2015 - 09:33

Viet Nam's key export products are food, cereal, candies, ceramics, coal, textile and garments, and chemicals. Cuba exports mainly medicine and food products. — Photo DTCK

HA NOI (VNS) — A workshop to promote Cuban-Vietnamese business was held in Ha Noi yesterday, bringing together a delegation of business representatives from both countries, notably Cuba's Gecomex Business Group.

The workshop, co-organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Cuban Embassy in Viet Nam, discussed the trading of products such as food, crude raw materials, consumer goods, fertilizers, pesticides, industrial and agricultural equipment, and paint.

Investment and trade between the two countries remained low despite a history of good relations, said Nguyen Binh Minh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam – Latin America Business Council.

Two-way trade between the two countries was US$142 million in 2013. Viet Nam's exports to Cuba made up $132.4 million of the total, and Cuban exports $9.9 million.

Trade turnover leapt 45 per cent to $207.5 million in 2014 with Viet Nam exports accounting for $206 million.

Viet Nam's key export products are food, cereal, candies, ceramics, coal, textile and garments, and chemicals. Cuba exports mainly medicine and food products.

Minh expressed his hope that investment and trade cooperation between Viet Nam and Cuba would promote sustainable and drastic changes to their economic relationship and the mutual support of their Governments and people.

Herminio Lopez Diaz, Cuban Ambassador to Viet Nam, said that Cuba was undergoing a socio-economic revival that would create new opportunities for Cuba to import crucial goods and raw materials from Viet Nam.

Aurelio Mollineda Martinez, general director of the Gecomex Business Group, said that the group was looking to assist Vietnamese enterprises grow in Cuba, not only with the group but also other Cuban enterprises.

The Gecomex Business Group was created in 2013 as part of the economic revolution underway across the country that is separating state and business functions.

Gecomex manages import and exports of goods and services across governmental sectors to support the national agenda.

In 2013, the group managed more than 36 per cent of the country's imports and over 16 per cent of goods' exports.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thanh from Duc Thanh Co Ltd, which exports and imports agricultural equipment and fertiliser, said there were many opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to access Cuba's market since it had many similarities with Viet Nam. Tax for imported goods in Cuba was also competitive with 90 per cent of commodities taxed less than 15 per cent. — VNS

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