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./.