Cuba is offering a wide choice of incentives to attract foreign investors, President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce Orlando Hernández Guillén told a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on April 17.

Vietnam is one of the countries Cuba prioritises in developing trade and investment, he stressed, adding that now is a favourable time to seek partners and form ventures.

Oscar Perez Oliva, Executive Director of the Mariel Special Development Zone, said Cuba is waiving taxes on personal income sourced from business profit or corporate dividends, worker hiring and import tariffs on equipment and machinery.

Sales and services taxes are exempted in the first year and will later rise to a mere 1 percent.

Fields in much need of investment include bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, packaging, renewable energy, agriculture, telecommunications and information technology, tourism, real estate and infrastructure.

Deputy Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) Bui Thanh An cited successful Vietnamese business models in Cuba, including a hotel and an 18-hole golf course by the Vietnam Housing and Urban Development Corporation, as well as an oil and gas survey and exploration project by the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group.

Last year, trade hit 207.5 million USD with Vietnam exporting food, confectioneries and footwear to Cuba and importing pharmaceuticals and health food.

This year, Vietrade is working to connect the Vietnamese business community with Cuba by sharing information about the local business climate and legal regulations as well as holding market survey trips.-VNA