Bilateral ties between Viet Nam and Cuba are at their best development period, expanding in all fields, Construction Minister Phạm Hồng Hà said yesterday. — Photo baoxaydung.vn
HÀ NỘI — Bilateral ties between Viet Nam and Cuba are at their best development period, expanding in all fields, Construction Minister Phạm Hồng Hà said yesterday.
He was speaking at the opening of the 35th meeting of the Việt Nam-Cuba Inter-Governmental Committee in Hà Nội yesterday.
The two-day meeting is co-chaired by Hà and Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz.
The committee will review implementation of the 34th meeting’s minutes and put forward specific measures to increase the efficiency of its operations as well as that of bilateral co-operation in the coming years.
Minister Hà, who is also co-Chair of the Việt Nam-Cuba Inter-Governmental Committee, said bilateral relations have expanded in all fields including politics, diplomacy, economy and science and technology.
Co-operative projects in Cuba on rice, corn, soybean and coffee cultivation as well as aquaculture have produced positive results, helping the country increase yield and ensure food security, he said.
The two countries are planning to conclude negotiations on a new trade agreement in the fourth quarter of 2017, towards increasing two-way trade to US$500 million over the next five years, he said.
Many Vietnamese firms, including Viglacera, Hanel, Tín Thành and Thái Bình have worked closely with Cuban partners to get licenses for their investment in Cuba in construction materials, consumer goods, hotels, and renewable energy, he added.
Hà stressed the need to give priority to the signing of the new trade agreement, implementing the fifth phase of the rice development project (2017-20) in 2018, and arrying out the coffee development project.
He also urged the two sides to reach agreement on specific content for co-operation in tourism, healthcare, production of vaccines and medicines, science and technology, telecom, and cultural exchanges.
At the meeting, both sides pledged to create favourable conditions to speed up implementation of investment projects, and discussed co-operation possibilities in tourism, medical tourism and other potential areas.
Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz emphasised the important strides made in trade ties between the two countries.
Last year, Việt Nam was the second largest trade partner of Cuba in the Asia-Pacific region, and tenth in terms of total trade turnover.
Two-way trade has posted a year-on-year rise of 4.7 per cent in the first eight months of this year, with rice remaining the most important commodity.
Cuba’s pharmaceutical and biotech products are now available in Việt Nam, but the quantity was still meagre and does not meet potential, he said.
He hoped that Cuba would intensifying co-operation with Việt Nam in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. — VNS