Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai addresses the forum.

In his speech, Deputy PM Khai stressed that the bilateral cooperation relationship still maintains development momentum in all fields although Vietnam and Cuba have faced many difficulties and challenges in recent years.

Notably, economic and scientific and technical cooperation through the intergovernmental committee mechanism has been maintained regularly, recording important achievements, significantly contributing to the promotion of the Vietnam - Cuba comprehensive cooperation.

He spoke highly of Vietnamese businesses which have actively seized opportunities and responded to the Cuban government’s investment attraction policy.

The Vietnam - Cuba trade agreement, which was signed in 2018 and officially took effect from April 2020, is an important legal basis for businesses of the two sides to fully tap tariff preferences, towards lifting the two-way trade to 500 million USD in the next five years, he noted.

Khai said he believes that with the participation of Vietnamese ministries, agencies, and enterprises, the two sides will create new investment and business opportunities, thus further boosting the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation.

Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz addresses the event.

For his part, Cuban PM Cruz praised Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements, especially the Southeast Asian nation’s stable development amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in the context of complicated political and economic situation in the world. 

Cuba still records socio-economic development progress with the participation and contribution of many economic sectors although the country continues to face many difficulties from embargo policies and natural disasters, he noted.

The country has focused on agriculture, industry, tourism, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, health care, and information technology, he said, adding that Cuba has also effectively controlled the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cuban leader pledged to prioritize and create the most favorable conditions for Vietnam - Cuba trade relations, and for Vietnamese businesses investing in Cuba, expressing his belief that the forum will mark a new stage in the trade cooperation between the two countries.

Source: VNA