Việt Nam, Cuba agree to beef up legislative ties

Update: June, 13/2017 - 06:00
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and her Cuban counterpart Esteban Lazo Hernandez agreed to enhance legislative ties between Việt Nam and Cuba through the exchange of all-level delegations and experience sharing. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức

HÀ NỘI — National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and her Cuban counterpart Esteban Lazo Hernandez agreed to enhance legislative ties between Việt Nam and Cuba through the exchange of all-level delegations and experience sharing. 

The consensus was reached during their talks in Hà Nội yesterday following a welcome ceremony for the Cuban top legislator, who is on an official visit to Việt Nam from June 11-18. 
The host and guest both consented to continue reviewing and updating existing co-operation documents and sign more agreements in order to complete the legal framework for the bilateral relationship. 
They expressed their determination to advance two-way trade to match their close political ties. 
The two NAs will support and promote the implementation of cooperative programmes and projects, particularly those in agriculture, consumer goods production, medicine research and production, health care services, tourism infrastructure construction and energy. 
They pledged to intensify their collaboration and mutual support at multilateral organisations and forums, especially the UN, in the interests of each nation, as well as for peace, stability and development in the regions and the world at large. 
The Việt Nam-Cuba and Cuba-Việt Nam Friendship Parliamentary Groups will also increase their exchange and seek specific measures to increase mutual understanding and consolidate the friendship and co-operation between the two NAs. 
Ngân stressed that the Vietnamese legislature plans to promote parliamentary diplomacy, expand bilateral activities with other countries’ parliaments and take an active role at multilateral forums and regional and international inter-parliamentary organisations. 
Việt Nam persistently pursues a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of relations and intensive international integration, she affirmed. 
The country will continue to work to maintain peace and stability, while protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity on the basis of respect for international law, the legislative leader said. 
The NA Chairwoman also highlighted the reform efforts of the Vietnamese legislature, which she said is gearing towards transparency and publicity. 
Ngân described the Cuban NA leader’s visit as a new development of legislative ties and the long-standing friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.  
For his part, Esteban Lazo Hernandez said the exchange of experience and delegations will help the two countries understand each other more and set forth measures against challenges. 
Cuba understands Việt Nam’s consistent stance in the international arena and will continue to stand by the country, he affirmed. 
The Cuban top legislator expressed his hope to learn from Việt Nam’s experience in 30-year reform, including legislative activities, especially at the grassroots level, in order to deal with its current problems. 
After the talks, the Cuban NA Chairman delivered a speech at a plenary session of the third sitting of the 14th NA of Việt Nam. 

Welcome from PM

Later the same day, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc received Hernandez, stressing that Việt Nam is encouraging the creation of favourable conditions to further the development of bilateral relations.

Noting that two-way trade turnover between the two countries last year remained low, reaching US$216 million, the PM proposed measures to boost trade relations between the two nations.

As part of that initiative, Việt Nam committed to supply rice to Cuba on a long-term basis, PM Phúc said.

He suggested the two countries foster co-operation in fields of their strangth, particularly in agriculture, bio-technology, construction, tourism infrastructure, telecommunications and electronic equipment.  

The two countries should encourage and create conditions to increase exchanges by delegations at all levels to promote mutual understanding and bilateral co-operation, he said.

Việt Nam continues to pursue the stance of supporting the complete removal of embargoes against Cuba, he said.

Cuban NA Chairman Esteban Lazo Hernandez said his visit was aimed at learning from Việt Nam’s experience after 30 years of đổi mới (renewal) to apply to the economic model in Cuba.

Cuba prioritised promoting co-operation with Việt Nam in the fields of trade, infrastructure investment and completing a legal framework to promote long-term co-operation between the two countries, he said.

Meeting with President

President Trần Đại Quang urged the Vietnamese and Cuban Parties and States to continuously direct ministries and relevant departments to step up the existing bilateral co-operation mechanisms and refine a legal framework for stable and long-term collaboration while meeting with the Cuban NA Chairman Esteban Lazo Hernandez the same day.

Quang hailed the outcomes of the talks between the top Cuban legislator and Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Ngân, and hoped the two parliaments will consolidate ties in both bilateral and multilateral aspects.

Việt Nam is willing to share its experience in reform and do its utmost to support the Cuban people to overcome difficulties and challenges, Quang said.

He recognised the effective cooperation mechanisms between the two countries such as the Parties’ theoretical workshop, the inter-governmental committee’s meeting, the deputy foreign ministers’ political consultation, and the deputy defence ministers’ strategic dialogue.

The two countries could tap into huge potential in economic, trade, and investment co-operation, he said, adding that more Vietnamese businesses are eyeing the Cuban market.

Esteban Lazo Hernandez said Việt Nam has a plenty of experience in agriculture and energy.

This is an ideal time for the two countries to bring their co-operative relations into reality, he added.

The same day, the Cuban legislator and his entourage visited the Hồ Chí Minh National Academy of Politics.— VNS