Rice is packaged for shipping overseas by a food processing enterprise in Cang Long District in Tra Vinh Province. Cuba imports about 400,000 tonnes of rice from Viet Nam annually. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI — Cuba has become increasingly attractive to Vietnamese investors following changes to the country's trade policies that are designed to attract foreign firms in the service and production sectors, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's American Department.
Nguyen Xuan Khien, the department's head, said Cuba was particularly looking for real estate investors.
He said Cuba had begun actively looking for foreign investment at the beginning of this year, mostly in the fields of tourism, plastic packaging, paper processing, mining and foodstuffs.
Khien said investors in golf courses would be permitted to rent land for 99 years.
Dang Xuan Cuong, from the Viet Nam Food Industries Company, said his company was looking into Cuba, which was a new market for his firm.
Last month, the Viet Nam Northern Food Corporation signed a contract to sell 200,000 tonnes of rice to Cuba.
Every year, Cuba imports about 400,000 tonnes of rice from Viet Nam.
Despite the latest trade incentives, exporters were still facing difficulties, such as late payment, Cuong said.
He said his firm often received payment 300-500 days after the goods were delivered.
Because of continued late payment, Cuong said his company had to export goods to Cuba through a firm in a third country that paid more promptly.
However, he said Cuba had an attractive investment climate and that Vietnamese firms should closely study this new market.
To boost trade relations between the two countries, the Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to hold an investment forum in Havana, the country's capital. Particular emphasis will be on sectors such as information and technology, rice, footwear, garments and pharmaceuticals. — VNS