HCM CITY — HCM City is ready to set up a joint working group with Cuba to facilitate bilateral trade and investment, said Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân.
Nhân made the statement during a meeting with President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers of Cuba Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez on Saturday.
Welcoming the Cuban leader’s trip to Việt Nam’s southern economic hub, Nhân stressed HCM City has been honoured to receive many delegations of Cuban leaders.
The city has exchanged working delegations with Cuba to develop bilateral collaboration, particularly in investment, trade and tourism, he noted.
Nhân said local leaders have directed departments and agencies to study measures to step up trade and investment ties with Cuba.
HCM City wants to develop a long-term strong partnership with Cuba and is willing to work as a bridge in co-operation models between Việt Nam and Cuba, he affirmed.
Nhân suggested that Cuban leaders create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese firms, including those from HCM City, to invest in the country.
For his part, Miguel Diaz-Canel expressed his respect for the socio-economic achievements Việt Nam and HCM City have obtained recently. He said Cuba is learning from HCM City’s experiences in building a high-tech park and attracting foreign investment.
Cuba is willing to work with Việt Nam in its strong sectors like medicine and health, and wants to continue receiving assistance from the Southeast Asian country in agriculture, he said.
Việt Nam’s high-tech model
Earlier the same day, Cuban President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez and his entourage visited the Sài Gòn Hi-Tech Park of HCM City.
Welcoming the delegation, head of the Management Board of the park Lê Hoài Quốc said after 16 years of operation, the park has granted investment licences to 148 projects, including 93 domestic and 55 foreign-invested ones.
Total high-tech production of the park has reached nearly US$45 billion and is trending upwards. In 2018, the figure is estimated to hit $14 billion and is expected to exceed $20 billion in 2020.
Quốc said the park has started its second phase to match the city’s development plans to become a creative city.
Enterprises planning to invest in the park must be committed to investing in research and development and implement a roadmap to localise the supply chain, said Quốc.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel inquired about issues related to the investment model of the park, legal matters in construction and investment in the park as well as criteria for a high-tech enterprise.
He said Cuba has approved a policy to develop high-tech parks but the country has yet to build a sufficient legal foundation in the field. Cuba has also yet to give specific standards for a high-tech firm or product, he added.
The Cuban leader said that the country sees Việt Nam as a trustworthy model to follow and learn from, expressing his belief in the strong trust and friendship between the two countries.
He suggested that the park send a working team to Cuba to share experiences with the Caribbean country and work with a number of centres that Cuba is to form, including an IT centre and a science-technology centre in Havana University.
The Cuban leader also proposed representatives from the biotechnology sector of Cuba and the Sài Gòn Hi-Tech Park work with each other to form a joint venture or implement joint research to develop pharmaceuticals in the park.
Currently, Cuba has succeeded in producing specific remedies and vaccines, but the country has faced difficulties in medicine production due to low capacity of factories, he noted, saying this is a chance for the two sides to co-operate in producing medicines in Việt Nam.