Reinforcing Vietnamese-Cuban special relationship

(VOVworld) – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will make an official visit to Cuba from March 26 to 28. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the traditional friendship, improve cooperation in economy, trade, and investment, and exchange ideas on bilateral and global issues.

Reinforcing Vietnamese-Cuban special relationship - ảnh 1
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with President of the Cuban Council of State Raul Castro Ruz in Hanoi, 2012

Cuba has always had strong sentiments for Vietnam and a deep respect for the Vietnamese people during their national liberation wars and current development. 54 years ago, Cuba was the first country in the western hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Since then, Vietnamese-Cuban relations have flourished.

Good political relations basis

The Vietnamese-Cuban traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation have expanded steadily. The two countries have exchanged high-level visits and bilateral meetings. In 2012, General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong visited Cuba and President of the Cuban Council of State Raul Castro Ruz visited Vietnam. First Vice President of the Cuban Council of State Miguel Diaz Canel visited Vietnam last year.

Reinforcing Vietnamese-Cuban special relationship - ảnh 2
Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong visited Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Cuba, 2012
(photo: Granma)

Vietnam and Cuba have maintained the mechanism of the Inter-governmental Committee and annually exchange high-level delegations to enhance all-round relations between their Parties, states, and people. The 30th session of the Vietnamese-Cuban Inter-governmental Committee in La Habana in September, 2012 and the 31st session in Hanoi last September focused on cooperation in agriculture, rice distribution, education, healthcare, construction and bio-technology. The two sides agreed on a medium-term economic agenda which will be signed in the near future.

Creating momentum for trade and economic development

Good Vietnamese-Cuban political relations have gradually shifted to economics and motivated Vietnamese enterprises to invest in Cuba. Vietnam is Cuban’s second biggest trade partner in Asia. Economic and trade exchanges reached 175 million USD in 2012 and 200 million USD last year. Experts say the yearly revenue growth rate, which depends mainly on rice, has been low.

Vietnam exports coal, chemicals, garments and textiles, and computers to Cuba and imports pharmaceutical products. Cuban people prefer Vietnamese products for their quality and low price.

An increasing number of Vietnamese enterprises are investing in Cuba. Worthy of note are the Hotel and Golf course project of the Hanoi Urban Development group (HUD), the oil and gas exploration and exploitation project of Petrovietnam, and an air-conditioner and refrigerator manufacturing project. A rice growing project in Pina Del Rio has gotten positive results with an average rice yield of 6 tons per ha.

A number of cooperative agreements between ministries and sectors have been signed, including agreements between the Party Committees of Hanoi and Havana and the Ministries of Finance.

Cuban Minister of Light Industry Damar Maceo Cruz has encouraged Vietnamese enterprises to invest in cooperative projects in garments and textiles, leather and footwear, wood and plastic products, and pharmacy.

Strengthening Vietnamese-Cuban relations

Prime Minister Dung’s visit to Cuba will not only tighten traditional relations but also lay a foundation for a new path of economic cooperation. Cuba intends to share with Vietnam its experience in economic, trade, and investment development.

While Vietnam is implementing a resolution of the 11th National Party Congress and Cuba is pursuing drastic reform, Prime Minister Dung’s visit will be an opportunity for both countries to enhance sustainable trade and economic cooperation to match the new conditions and each country’s interests and discuss ways to build socialism.