A postal stamp commemorates the Vietnam-Cuba relations (Photo: VNA)

Although bilateral trade saw a downward trend in the recent two years, Cuba remains among 10 countries with the highest trade turnover with Vietnam in America.

Of note, to support Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19, Cuba presented the Southeast Asian nation thousands of doses of Interferon Alfa 2B for treatment of COVID-19 patients and will cooperate with Vietnam in technology transfer of the medicine.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s Cuba visit on September 18-20 is expected to serve as a bridge to tighten the two countries’ relations, thereby facilitating the sustainable development of bilateral trade.

The Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement was inked in Hanoi in November 2018 during an official visit to Vietnam by then President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba Miguel Diaz Canel.

However, the rate of capitalising on the trade agreement remains modest due to various reasons, including the prolonged pandemic and difficulties facing Cuban firms.

Bilateral trade hit 53.7 million USD in the first six months of this year, with Vietnam exporting goods worth 51.4 million USD to Cuba, statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)'s European-American Market Department showed.

Vietnam mainly ships rice, coffee, chemical products, garment-textile, footwear and computers and accessories; and imports vaccines and pharmaceutical products from the Latin American country.

The MoIT, over the years, has sent delegations to participate in the Havana International Fair (FIHAV), Cuba's most important biennial trade fair. The ministry also supports Cuba’s pavilions at trade fairs hosted by Vietnam.

Cuba sent a strong delegation of 30 corporations and firms across the fields of electrical mechanics, renewable energy, industry and biological products, among others, to attend the Vietnam Expo held in 2018.

At present, four projects of Vietnam are operating in the Latin American nation, including those at the Mariel Special Development Zone.

The two countries have nurtured a special traditional relationship which serves as a foundation for cooperation across all sectors, especially economy, trade and investment, experts affirmed.

The Vietnam-Cuba Intergovernmental Committee cooperation mechanism and other legal frameworks have created a momentum for development of bilateral cooperation in all fields.

The bilateral trade agreement is viewed as an important legal framework to promote two-way trade in the coming time.

Vietnamese products hold huge potential in the 11.2 million-strong Cuban market, according to the MoIT’s European-American Market Department.

Can Gio district to reopen tours on Sept. 30

Can Gio district, Ho Chi Minh City plans to reopen tourism on September 30 after it has basically controlled the COVID-19 epidemic.

In a recent working session with the Standing Board of the Can Gio district Party Committee, Politburo member and Secretary of the Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen made many suggestions about the plan to restore and develop the district’s economy.

As planned, Can Gio district will open the first tours on September 30 after announcing control of the epidemic.(Photo: laodong.vn)

He said that Can Gio district has basically controlled the epidemic, so it is possible to localize to immediately implement a domestic tourism program during the COVID-19 period. “Can Gio should prepare safe destinations to welcome safe travellers,” he added.

Le Minh Dung, Secretary of the Can Gio Party Committee, said that during the first phase (from September 16 to October 31), in addition to the forms permitted to open on the city’s guidelines, the district also proposed pilot reopening of some activities such as fishing and aquaculture of local people and returning of traditional markets. 

The district would consider reopening outdoor entertainment and dining activities on a small scale of less than 20 people, based on recommendations of the Health Ministry.

To recover tourism, Mr. Dung said the district had a plan to build a self-contained tour using a closed route on which passengers would be only allowed to stay in certain areas. The first pilot tour is expected to open in Can Gio by September 30.

Vietnam surpasses Thailand to become largest supplier of tuna to Israel

In the first half of 2021, Vietnam surpassed Thailand to become the largest supplier of tuna to Israel, accounting for nearly 31% of the country’s total tuna import value, according to the International Trade Centre.

Photo for illustration. (Source: tapchicongthuong.vn)

Notably, in the six months, when Israel’s tuna imports from most sources fell, imports from Vietnam increased. Currently, 8 Vietnamese enterprises are exporting tuna to the Israeli market, the largest of which are Tuna Vietnam, Bidifisco and Havuco.

As of August 15, 2021, Vietnam’s tuna export value to Israel increased by 34% over the same period last year, reaching nearly 25 million USD, accounting for 5.6% of the total value export value. Israel continues to be Vietnam’s third largest tuna export market, after the US and Italy.

With the export growth rate to Israel, it can be seen that export opportunities for Vietnam are open. However, the 4th wave of COVID-19 broke out in Vietnam in the context that the demand for tuna consumption in markets around the world is recovering and growing again, leaving Vietnamese tuna export enterprises facing many difficulties.

Currently, increase in tuna export value to the market is thanks to the offset from the previous months. In order to continue to maintain export growth, enterprises must stabilize production, and not struggle to prevent the epidemic spreading into the workforce./.