March, 29 2014 09:11:48

Viet Nam, Cuba strengthen relations

President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, Raul Castro Ruz (right), bestows the Order of Jose Marti on Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday in Cuba. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HAVANA (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, Raul Castro Ruz, said yesterday that they reached consensus on orientations to deepen bilateral ties in the future.

In talks held following an official welcome ceremony accorded for the Vietnamese Prime Minister, the two sides agreed to focus on boosting ties in trade, agriculture, electronics-telecommunication, energy, health care, biotechnology-pharmaceuticals, construction, tourism, and education and training.

Both leaders said they placed a high value on the close co-ordination and mutual support between the two countries at international organisations and multilateral forums, saying it contributed to preserving the legitimate rights of each nation and heightening their status in the global arena.

Dung said he was confident that the Cuban people would build on their revolutionary achievements of the past 55 years to successfully realise socio-economic directions set during the sixth congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Castro lauded Dung's official visit to Cuba, describing it as a great chance to further strengthen the traditional and fraternal relationship between the two countries for mutual benefit.

Dung said that the Vietnamese leadership is eager to welcome the Cuban President and National Assembly Chairman Esteban Lazo Hernandez to Viet Nam at an early date. The Cuban leaders said they were happy to accept the invitation.

After the talks, President Raul Castro Ruz presented Prime Minister Dung with the Jose Marti Medal, the noblest award of the Cuban Party and State.

On the occasion, Dung announced a gift package of 5,000 tonnes of rice and 100 sets of computers for Cuba.

The two leaders later witnessed the signing of a mid-term economic co-operation agenda for the two governments as well as a memorandum of understanding on healthcare co-operation. A number of agreements for agriculture and defence co-operation were also signed during the Prime Minister's visit.

Earlier, on Thursday, Dung visited the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio, where a Viet Nam-Cuba joint rice production model is being experimented with.

He was told that the farm, covering nearly 28,000 hectares, was yielding 4.58 tonnes per hectare, 1.2 times higher than the average productivity of Cuban farms.

The farm has been supported by 20 Vietnamese experts, who have conducted more than 300 training courses for about 7,000 Cuban officials and farmers, and is expected to be expanded to 12 more provinces.

In addition to the expertise, Viet Nam has also given Cuba 800 farming machinery and equipment.

Both countries could develop agricultural partnerships in other crops like maize, soybean and coffee. Aquaculture was another area of promise for bilateral co-operation, Dung said.

Prime Minister Dung was also received by Cuban leader Fidel Castro during his visit.

The two sides discussed their ties as well as the experience of each country in socio-economic development.

Dung also exchanged views with the Cuban leader on the threat posed by climate change and imperialism.

Fidel took the occasion to share with the Vietnamese PM the results of recent research on raising food output without using genetic modification.

PM Dung left Havana yesterday afternoon to begin an official visit to Haiti. — VNS

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