Cuban Vice Minister for Foreign Trade and Investment Antonio Caricarrte
Cuba wants to strengthen co-operation with Vietnam in the oil and gas industry.
Mr. Caricarrte said that the close ties between Vietnam and Cuba has been strengthened and promoted by the Governments and people of both countries during the 51 years of their diplomatic ties. Latin American countries, particularly Cuba, have become one of safer destinations for foreign investors as the world faces global economic recession and political instability in the Middle East and North Africa. The traditional relations between Vietnam and Latin American will provide the basis for Vietnamese enterprises to penetrate these markets.
Vietnam is one of the Cuba's key trade counterparts and Cuba's second largest partner in Asia. It is also the largest rice supplier to Cuba. However, the trade exchange between the two countries does not yet correspond with their potential and good political relationship. Cuba hopes to expand bilateral trade co-operation for mutual development in the future.
Cuba and the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (Petrovietnam) have carried out many oil and gas projects in the Cuban exclusive economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. In the future, Cuba hopes to continue promoting co-operation in petroleum exploitation and other fields. Cuba has strength in exporting tourism and health services, which accounts for 70% of the country's foreign revenue, and the Vice Minister said he hopes that bilateral co-operation between the two countries will be fostered in these sectors. Cuba is also willing to welcome Vietnamese investors in fields of mining, renewable energy and other fields.
Chilean Executive Vice President of the Foreign Investment Committee, Matías Mori Arellano
Vietnam and Chile have huge potential for trade.
Chile has gained significant economic achievements in the past decade with an average GDP of 4.8% in the 2004-2011 period, US$155 billion import-export turnover in 2011 and less than 7% unemployment. Chile is also one of the Latin American countries attracting a lot of foreign direct investment with over US$17 billion in 2011. To make the country a more attractive investment destination, the Chilean Government has continued improving its preferential policies to draw investment in the fields of food technology, infrastructure, energy and mining.
Vietnam and Chile established diplomatic ties in 1972 and a milestone in the bilateral relationship was the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) in November 2011. However, the current trade turnover between the two countries is not as robust as it could be. Vietnamese and Chilean enterprises have not ventured to penetrate each other's markets due to the lack of information, geographical distance and language barriers. The Vice-President said that the forum offered many opportunities for investors and prospects for co-operating prospects for Vietnam and Latin American countries, especially Chile. Delegates at the forum also had the chance for discussions and exchanging information to seek effective measures to overcome difficulties and promote trade and investment between the two countries.
Gabriel Andre Duque Mildenberg, Colombian Vice Minister of Foreign Trade
Colombia wants to be a bridge between Vietnam and Latin America
Vice Minister Mildenberg from Colombia said that the Vietnam - Latin America Trade and Investment Forum was a good opportunity for Vietnam and Latin America to introduce their countries and people, thus contributing to deepening ties and mutual understanding. Columbia is moving towards greater international integration and the country aims to take up every opportunity to promote co-operation with other countries, including Vietnam.
In the context of the global economic crisis, Columbia is struggling to maintain growth. In 2011 the Colombian economy grew by 5% and its export value ranked fifth in Latin America. Vietnam and Columbia have agreed to strengthen co-operation and mutual support in international forums. Columbia endorsed Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and in turn Vietnam actively supported Columbia in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Last February, the two countries signed an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, providing a solid foundation for further bilateral co-operation.
However, the Vice Minister acknowledged that economic co-operation between the two countries still lags behind its potential with two-way trade in 2011 reaching only just over US$180 million. With a population of over 90 million, Vietnam represents a huge potential market for Columbian goods and services. In order to increase trade co-operation, Vietnam and Columbia need to open more dialogues, especially between businesses. The Minister said he hopes that the two countries will promote further bilateral trade and create a bridge for enterprises to penetrate both the ASEAN and Latin American markets.
Miguel Mejia, Minister without Portfolio of the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic is willing to welcome Vietnamese businesses
Vietnam and Latin America have a long standing relationship the image of a heroic Vietnam in its struggle for national independence and unification has left a deep impression on the hearts of Latin American people, particularly Dominicans. Today, that solidarity is promoted through economic co-operation.
Attending the Vietnam - Latin America Trade and Investment Forum opened up an opportunity for the Dominican Republic (DR) and other Latin American countries to seek investment opportunities and foster bilateral economic ties, particularly in energy, communication and oil production.
Like many other countries in the region, the Dominican Republic is interested in the oil and gas production sector, one of Vietnam’s strengths. The DR evaluates Vietnam’s technological achievements in oil exploration and drilling very higly and wishes to learn from Vietnam’s experience. The DR wants to invite Vietnamese experts to the Dominican Republic to discuss co-operation in this field. Delegates from the DR also met with the Vietnamese telecom group Viettel and aim to establish a co-operative relationship in telecommunications in the future.
With many mechanisms and legal frameworks designed to attract foreign investors, the Dominican Republic is ready to open its doors and create the best possible conditions to help Vietnamese enterprises penetrate its domestic market, especially in telecommunications and energy. The DR also hopes to become a bridge for Vietnamese businesses to expand their investments in Latin America.