General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s tour to Cuba and France was a success, creating a new impetus to grow Vietnam’s ties with the two countries, especially in economy, according to an official.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, a member of the Party leader’s entourage, said the Vietnam-France relationship is growing in all fields, and bilateral cooperation potential remains high.

Vietnam wants France to become a gateway for the country to access the EU, and Vietnam will help link France with the ASEAN.

While France is a large economic hub of Europe thanks to its modern infrastructure, science and technology as well as education and training, Vietnam is an attractive market with 90 million people and increasing income and high economic growth, noted the minister.

He said that new areas the two sides can supplement each other include transportation, energy, power, processing and manufacturing industry, aviation and maritime transportation, logistics, digital economic transfer, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals.

Vietnam is one of France’s leading partners in ASEAN, while France is one of the biggest investors of Vietnam.

The signing and ratification of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement is being sped up, laying a foundation for stronger trade and investment ties between Vietnam and the EU, including France.

Minister Anh said during Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit, leaders of the two countries discussed the completion of legal frameworks for cooperation in various fields, including science, education, economy, trade, investment and technology.

He noted that the signing of many deals worth billions of USD by businesses of both sides, including a 2 billion EUR contract in power, showed the stronger engagement of newly-emerged and private firms and the expansion of cooperation between the two countries.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro leaves Havana for Santiago de Cuba (Photo: VNA)
 
Meanwhile, the Party chief’s visit to Cuba had historical significance, as the two countries are experiencing a new period of development with abundant cooperation opportunities.

One of the most important outcomes of the visit was an agreement to allow leaders of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Investment to finalise negotiations on a Vietnam-Cuba free trade agreement, said the minister.

The two sides will review legal framework to sign the deal as soon as possible, supporting trade, investment cooperation growth and enhancing capacity in production and accessing each other’s market.

Additionally, a series of agreements were reached in diverse areas from education and training, justice, technology to environment.

Vietnam has become the second largest Asian partner of Cuba after China, with two-way trade exceeding 200 million USD.

The minister said that Vietnam has an important role in Cuba’s development strategy, as during the Party leader’s visit, Cuba granted investment licences to several Vietnamese firms in tourism, power plant construction and agriculture.

A Vietnam-Cuba business forum attracted more than 100 businesses of both sides who discussed areas with high cooperation potential, a move expected to improve production capacity and technology transfer between the two countries, and enabling the Vietnam-Cuba partnership to grow further, stated the minister.-VNA