HAVANA – The General Secretary of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Phu Trong, arrived on Thursday for a two day state visit in Havana, where he was welcomed by Cuba’s President Raul Castro, intending to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the countries.
The island’s media – all state-owned – devote extensive coverage to Trong’s visit and have stressed that it takes place in a climate of “excellent” bilateral relations between Hanoi and Havana.
During the current visit of Trong to the island, the signing of some 20 agreements and memoranda of understanding are planned in areas such as the food industry, renewable energy, science and technology, justice, production of consumer goods and construction materials, and also the tourism sector.
Vietnam, considered by Cuba as a political and economic ally, is the Caribbean country’s second largest trading partner within the Asia-Oceania zone and its main supplier of rice.
In 2017, the bilateral trade reached $220 million, and the Vietnamese authorities aim to increase it to $500 million by 2020.
Cuba and Vietnam have had a close relationship since the 1960s, when they became the symbol of resistance against the United States, and since then both governments have been exchanging state visits.