Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh paid a working visit to Cuba from June 21 – 24, seeking ways to expand bilateral cooperation in economics, trade and investment.

At a session with Cuban Deputy Minister of Industry Eloy Alvarez, Anh said the memorandum of understanding on industrial cooperation inked by the two sides during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s Cuba visit earlier this year is an important lever for their partnership in the field.

Alvarez affirmed that his country will provide more favourable conditions so that industrial affiliation will harvest further positive outcomes in the future.

During the function, both sides discussed short- and long-term orientations for joint efforts, in which Cuba will facilitate Vietnam’s investment in light industries and production of consumer goods in order to cut down imports into the Caribbean country.

Meeting with officials of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, Anh suggested Cuba consider starting negotiations on a tax incentive agreement and update the trade cooperation agreement and other forms of economic cooperation.

He asked Cuba to give specific impetus to Vietnamese investment in the country, especially in the Mariel Special Economic Zone.

In response, Cuban officials committed to supporting Vietnamese firms to boost two-way economic, trade and investment cooperation.

Both sides also pledged to accelerate the implementation of investment projects in manufacturing instead of solely trading activities.

During their stay in Cuba, the Vietnamese delegation attended the first International Convention and Exhibition of Industry of Cuba.

Currently, Vietnam is the second largest Asian trade partners of Cuba with two-way trade at 175 million USD in 2012 and 203.7 million USD in the first nine months of 2013.

Vietnam mainly exports rice, coal, chemicals, garments and computers to Cuba while importing pharmaceuticals from the Caribbean country.-VNA