Vietnam, Cuba boost cooperation in rice production, trade

download (8) Vietnam and Cuba have discussed measures to increase bilateral cooperation in various areas, especially rice production.

Despite numerous difficulties, the Vietnamese Government gives priority to cooperation projects on rice production with Cuba, said Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung at the 29th session of the Vietnam-Cuba Inter-governmental Committee in Hanoi on October 7.

Mr Dung, who co-chaired the meeting with Cuban Minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmiecra Diaz, asked the two countries’ relevant agencies and officials to iron out snags and work closely with each other to ensure the success of these projects.

Cuban officials proposed that Vietnam continue to supply rice to the Caribbean island nation in the coming years to ensure national food security. In addition, they said to restructure debts Cuba will reduce the amount of rice imported from Vietnam to 300,000 tonnes next year.

Minister Diaz confirmed that Vietnam-assisted agricultural production projects play an important role in Cuba. He said that the country will also cooperate effectively with Vietnam in bio-technology and pharmaceutical development and that the latest medicines will be available in Vietnam soon.

Regarding trade, Minister Dung said that the two sides should draw up plans to settle bad debts, increase trade exchanges, undertake signed contracts on schedule and consider offering preferential interest rates to involved businesses.

He proposed that the Cuban government allow the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) to open its branch in Cuba to facilitate the clearance of relevant procedures for businesses that take part in investment projects in Cuba.

Minister Dung also proposed that Cuba create conditions for bilateral cooperation in building infrastructure for tourism development. At the same time, he said both sides study and make the most of scientific and technological advances for big economic contracts to be signed later.

He expressed hope that Vietnamese businesses who are operating in construction, oil and gas, and trade in Cuba will receive further support from the government.

Meanwhile, Minister Diaz showed his government’s commitment to effectively implementing agreements reached during the previous meeting. He expressed hope that the session will draw up a strategy for expanding economic and trade ties between the two countries. According to Cuban officials, a mid-term strategy for bilateral cooperation will provide a driving force behind economic development.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Cuba has increased by 6.4 percent in recent years.

The two-day meeting will end on October 8. – VOV

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