Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued a plan for implementing a trade agreement between Vietnam and Cuba
The plan outlines the tasks for ministries, ministerial-agencies, State agencies and localities, one of which is to promote the dissemination of information related to the agreement through the media, websites, training courses, and seminars.
Information and forecasts related to import, export, trade and investment should be updated to Vietnamese enterprises, helping them understand more about Cuba’s technical requirements, rules on management of goods import and export, as well the market’s demand.
Regarding policy and institutions building work, ministries, ministerial-level agencies, Government agencies, People's Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities must consult related parties in the process.
Ministries and sectors were asked to continue coordination with the Cuban side to develop and complete necessary institutions for the implementation of the agreement.
Attention should be paid to building market development programmes for Vietnam’s potential export items and training enterprises in specific commitments related to the agreement.
The Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement was signed on November 9, 2018 after two years of negotiation. The Agreement replaces the earlier deal between the two governments on trade exchange and other economic cooperation forms signed on April 8, 1996.
It features 14 chapters, covering the trade of goods, rules of origin, customs administration and trade facilitation, trade remedies, technical standards and regulations and conformity assessment procedures (STRACAP), sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, trade of services, economic and trade cooperation, review and management, and dispute resolution.
In addition, the agreement, which officially took effect on April 1 this year, also contains annexes, mainly related to commitments on market opening.
Under the pact, the two sides have pledged to eliminate or reduce tariffs on nearly all commodities currently traded between them over the next five years.
The Vietnamese Government recently issued Decree No.39/2020/ND-CP on a list of Vietnam’s special preferential import tariffs to implement the trade agreement with Cuba from now until 2023.
Accordingly, import tariffs on 514 items from Cuba, including some types of shrimp, fish, honey and fruit, cement, chromium ore, disinfectants, protective suits and wireless internet devices have been slashed to zero percent.
For the 49 remaining tariff lines, tax rates will be cut gradually. Commodities such as sugar and unprocessed tobacco will have their tariff rates reduced to 15% in four years, cigarettes and cigars to 70%, and liquor and alcohol to 20%.
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