President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (front, right) receives Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz in Havana on September 20 morning (local time). (Photo: VNA)

The President made the statement at a reception in Havana on September 20 morning (local time) for Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz and leaders of the Mariel Special Development Zone.

At the meeting, the two sides discussed potential and advantages of the zone in the western province of Artemisa province of Cuba.

Diaz warmly welcomed President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit to Cuba, saying it opens up many cooperation opportunities in investment, trade and economy between businesses of the two countries.

Emphasising the potential and advantages of the zone, the minister said that this special economic zone has achieved many positive results in recent years, offering good conditions for attracting foreign investment and high-tech projects to Cuba, thus promoting the country’s export activities in the coming time.

Cuba issued a law permitting foreign investment in the over-400,000-hectare development zone, which has attracted projects in biotechnology, pharmaceutical production, consumer goods manufacturing, banking, construction and some other sectors. The zone offers an attractive tax exemption policy for investors and handles procedures under the single-window model in just 60 days.

So far, the Mariel Special Development Zone has approved 59 projects, 34 of which have become operational, worth over 3 billion USD in total from 21 countries. Among these projects, three are invested by Vietnam.

Leaders of the zone expressed their hope for more investment projects from Vietnam on the basis of the two countries’ special traditional friendship and many cooperation agreements signed in the judicial, trade, and financial areas.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc noted with satisfaction that Vietnam and Cuba has just finished negotiations and signed an official contract under which Vietnam will buy 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Cuba. He described this as a particularly important achievement marking the comprehensive success of his official visit to Cuba this time.

The Vietnamese leader said Cuba’s building of an special economic zone, industrial park, and processing area is in line with the common trend of countries worldwide.

He lauded Vietnamese firms’ investment in the special development zone despite the long distance and expressed his delight at the fact that Vietnam is the second biggest foreign investor in Cuba.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc expected that Cuba will invest more in the zone’s infrastructure and offer a flexible and preferential investment policy to attract more investors. Favourable and simple administrative procedures to create the best possible conditions for investors are needed, he added.

On the occasion, the President called on Vietnamese enterprises to pay attention to and increase investment in the Mariel Special Development Zone./.

CPV (Source: VNA)