Việt Nam, Cuba to step up cooperation in various areas

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The 39th meeting of the Việt Nam-Cuba Inter-Governmental Committee chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Construction Nguyễn Thanh Nghị and Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz was held virtually on Tuesday in Hà Nội. — Photo from the Ministry of Construction

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Cuba reviewed their mutual cooperation efforts this year and agreed on plans to step up efforts in 2022.

The topics were discussed during the 39th meeting of their Inter-Governmental Committee, held virtually in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

Vietnamese Minister of Construction Nguyễn Thanh Nghị, co-chair of the committee along with Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, said cooperation between the countries has been maintained throughout 2021 despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two-way trade in the January-November period reached US$105 million, up 2 per cent year-on-year, he said, adding that Việt Nam had strived to maintain its rice exports to Cuba, helping the Caribbean nation ensure food security and social stability.

Through conferences and workshops, both online and in-person, the two sides have popularised the Việt Nam-Cuba trade agreement among their businesses and relevant associations.

Notably, the joint investment working group has introduced Cuba’s new policies, priority areas, and projects calling for foreign investment, and proposed solutions to remove difficulties facing Vietnamese investors in Cuba.

The cooperation project on rice production in Cuba for the 2019-23 period has been carried out as scheduled. Meanwhile, the two sides have coordinated to raise proposals regarding projects helping Cuba with aquatic farming, the third phase, and another on corn cultivation.

Remarkable progress has also been made in collaboration in healthcare and biotechnology. Cuba has signed a contract with Việt Nam to provide five million doses of Abdala COVID-19 vaccine, with one million doses already arriving when the country was suffering from the severe fourth wave of infections.

Within the official visit to Cuba by President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc last September, ministries, agencies, and businesses of the two countries signed many important cooperation agreements, covering economy, fisheries, health care, cyber security, justice, hotels, and clean energy.

These created a crucial foundation for the two countries to concretise activities and expand cooperation opportunities in the areas in which both are interested in.

Given difficulties and shortcomings to the bilateral cooperation, Việt Nam suggested the Cuban Government soon take solutions to ensure the effective operation of Vietnamese projects.

The two sides consented to step up collaboration in priority fields as well as the spheres in which both are interested.

They will work to effectively implement reached agreements and create conditions for businesses to utilise tax incentives of the Việt Nam-Cuba trade agreement to raise the bilateral trade.

More efforts will be made to roll out the cooperation project on rice production in Cuba, and sketch out the corn and aquaculture projects that are expected to be submitted to competent agencies for approval, heard the meeting.

The two health ministries will enhance cooperation in the supply and transfer of COVID-19 vaccine production technology in Việt Nam.

Việt Nam and Cuba will also continue with partnerships in other fields such as construction, information-communications, finance, customs, banking, education-training, culture-sports-tourism, labour-invalids-social affairs, radio, television, science-technology and justice, among others.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Cuban Ministry of Culture signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in culture. — VNS

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