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Sep 30, 2022 / 18:08

Vietnam ensures steady rice supply for Cuba

Rice remains the key product that Vietnam has sometimes offered Cuba for free over the past years while transferring farming techniques to the country of brotherhood.

Since rice is considered an essential commodity for the Cuban people, Vietnam has made it a priority to maintain a steady supply of rice for Cuba, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai said during an economic promotion forum between Vietnam and Cuba held today [September 30]. 

 Delegates at the forum. Source: VNA

The event took place during the visit of Cuba’s Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz to Vietnam on September 28-October 2. On this occasion, Vietnam granted Cuba 5,000 tons of rice. 

Vietnam and Cuba continue to maintain comprehensive cooperation in various fields, from politics, and foreign affairs, to the economy, science-technology, education, and culture, despite the growing difficulties that both countries are facing.

“Economic and scientific cooperation via the inter-governmental committee has been on the rise and contributed significantly to the bilateral relation,” Khai said. 

Over the past years, trade turnover between Vietnam and Cuba averaged US$250-350 million annually.

In this context, Vietnamese companies have been exporting a variety of products to Cuba, ranging from electronics, clothes, footwear, cosmetics products, construction materials, household appliances, and food.

Vietnam, in return, continues to import medicines, vaccines, and biological products from Cuba, as well as receiving Cuba’s medical experts to work in the country.

The Vietnam-Cuba Free Trade Agreement that became effective in April 2020 is seen as a key legal document for businesses from both sides to take advantage of preferential treatments and facilitate economic cooperation.

“Both countries aim to raise the bilateral trade turnover to $500 million in the next five years,” he added.

Khai also pointed out a number of current investment projects from local companies in Cuba, including Viglacera and Thai Binh Company which are among the first to invest in Cuba.

At present, Vietnamese investors have five projects underway in the Caribbean country, including four in the Mariel Special Development Zone and a construction materials manufacturing plant in Santa Cruz.

The ViMariel industrial infrastructure development project and the Sanvig construction material production investment joint venture have all been completed and contributed to economic development in Cuba.

Suchel, a joint venture between Vietnam and Cuba to produce detergents, and the solar power project Thai Binh Green Power, scheduled to operate in November and December this year, would be another example of the strong economic cooperation between the two countries.

Khai called for local companies to continue expanding investment activities in Cuba, expecting close cooperation between businesses from the two sides would take the Vietnam-Cuba relations to a new height.

At the forum, Cuba Prime Minister Manuel Marreno Cruz highlighted Vietnam’s achievements in socio-economic development amid growing global uncertainties.

Cruz noted Cuba’s economy continues its upward trend despite the economic embargo, natural disasters, and pandemics, with key economic fields including agriculture, industrial production, tourism, biotechnology, pharmacy, healthcare, and IT.

The Cuba Prime Minister said Government is committed to creating the utmost favorable conditions for Vietnam-Cuba relations, especially for Vietnamese companies operating in the country.

He called for Vietnamese firms to further invest in Cuba in fields of their strong expertise, such as renewables, tourism, and agriculture.