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Thursday, October 1, 2015, 17:16

Vietnam, Cuba ink trade accords

By Xinhua
Vietnam, Cuba ink trade accords
Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang, left, and Cuba's President Raul Castro, right, walk together after a ceremony in Havana, Cuba, Sept 29, 2015. Tan Sang is in Cuba in a three-day official visit. (Ismael Francisco / Cubadebate Via AP)

HAVANA, Sept 30 -- Cuba and Vietnam have agreed to boost trade and economic ties with signing of six accords, state daily Granma reported on Wednesday.

The agreements, designed to increase economic cooperation and mutual investment, came as part of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang's two-day state visit to the island.

Addressing a Vietnam-Cuba Business Forum, Sang urged business leaders "to make the most of the possibilities and correct decisions adopted by the Cuban government, to expand ties in all sectors."

Areas such as food production and tourism infrastructure offered opportunities for bilateral trade, Sang told the forum, which was also attended by Cuban Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas.

"Construction materials, telecommunications and oil represent other essential activities for both economies, and ones in which we can increase bilateral cooperation," he said.

The agreements call for cooperation between their respective chambers of commerce, as well as Cuba's National Bank and Vietnam's Agriculture and Rural Development Bank, and for joint oil and gas exploration, extraction and production.

The two countries also agreed to establish a joint firm to build a five-star hotel in Havana, and for a timetable for the creation of another joint firm in Cuba's fledgling special economic zone (SEZ) of Mariel, to manufacture and sell detergent.

Sang met Tuesday with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, who presented him with the Order of Jose Marti, the highest decoration awarded by the state to foreign dignitaries.

The two leaders presided over the signing of an agreement to mutually recognize academic studies, diplomas and degrees.

Sang arrived in Havana Monday night. Vietnam is Cuba's second largest Asian trading partner, after China.

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