New development in Vietnam-Cuba bilateral relationship

(VOVWORLD) - Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz began an official visit to Vietnam on Wednesday at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. This is his first trip outside Latin America since he took office in December, 2019. The visit demonstrates the determination of Vietnam and Cuba to strengthen their friendship, solidarity, loyalty, and mutual trust.
New development in Vietnam-Cuba bilateral relationship - ảnh 1Cuban Prime MinisterManuel Marrero Cruz (photo: VNA)

Vietnam and Cuba established diplomatic relations on December 2, 1960, two years after the success of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959. In the contemporary world history, the special relationship between Vietnam and Cuba is a rarity. For 62 years, the two have stood side by side in their struggles for national independence, freedom, and building and defending a socialist state.

Effective cooperation in various sectors

Their strong political relationship has created momentum for effective economic and trade cooperation.  Last year their trade turnover totaled 262 million USD, up 46.6% from 2020.

The Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement signed on November 9, 2018 officially took effect on April 1, 2020. Its preferential trade commitments have created favorable conditions for bilateral trade that benefit businesses of both countries.

Vietnam is the biggest Asia-Pacific investor in Cuba. Several 100% foreign-invested projects and joint ventures between the two countries have been put into operation. Many big Vietnamese companies have come to Cuba looking for investment opportunities. Vietnamese enterprises are constructing industrial park infrastructure and supplying construction materials at the Mariel Special Development Zone in Santa Cruz.

A 43-million-USD cooperative project to help Cuba develop rice production in the 2011-2015 period was very successful. So were phase 1 and 2 of projects to help Cuba grow corn and soybean and develop aquaculture. Phase 3 will continue until 2025.

The two countries actively supported each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuba gave Vietnam many doses of its Abdala vaccine last year and has been eager to transfer its vaccine technology to Vietnam.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Hoang Giang said: “The generous and transparent support between the two countries is very special. Cuba gave Vietnam vaccines. Vietnam gave Cuba food. Their actions clearly reflect the spirit of mutual support between the two countries.”

New development in Vietnam-Cuba bilateral relationship - ảnh 2Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Hoang Giang (photo: Nguyen Hong)

Improving economic, trade, and investment relations

During the Cuban Prime Minister’s visit to Vietnam, the leaders will agree on measures to improve the Vietnam-Cuba Intergovernmental Committee cooperative mechanism and encourage their businesses to invest in food production and processing, solar and wind energy, and tourism infrastructure. The two countries will sign a Joint Action Plan to implement a bilateral health agenda for 2023-2025, covering economics, commerce, agriculture, industry, construction, and transportation.

Lianys Torres Rivera, a former Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam, said: “The two countries should further enhance their economic and trade ties. More and more Vietnamese businesses are investing in Cuba. Cuba’s strength is healthcare. Cuba can share with Vietnam its experience, as it has done with many other countries around the world. Cuba hopes to attract more Vietnamese investors, in both the public and private sectors, so that Vietnam can contribute more to Cuba’s economic development.”

The Vietnam-Cuba relationship, which has been tested and developed throughout history, is a valuable asset for each country. Prime Minister Cruz’s visit to Vietnam affirms his determination to raise bilateral ties to a new level.

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