Official negotiations with Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang

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Belarus and Vietnam are taking their friendly relations to a new level, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the wider format talks with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Minsk on 27 June.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Belarus and Russia have a big history of good relations. “Belarusian people have always been with you, especially in the difficult moments of your history,” the head of state said. “Every Vietnamese remembers that war and the price that you had to pay for freedom and independence. We also remember it. We were there with you at the Vietnamese soil. After that terrible war we were doing our best to help our Vietnamese brothers with the restoration of the country and its economy, the normalization of life.”

“We will always be committed to such relations and this course. We hope that our relations will have good prospects, that there will be good trade between our countries and good political relations. We can always count on us,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

“The friendly relations between the people of Belarus and Vietnam established back in the times of the Soviet Union have never stopped growing. They have been rising to a new level in a comprehensive and consistent manner. We remember the proverbial expression of those times about the relations with Vietnam ‘the distance is great, but our hearts are close’. This expression still perfectly describes the Belarusian-Vietnamese relations,” the head of state stressed.

The President noted that both Belarus and Vietnam are interested in bolstering trade in different commodity groups, stepping up the industrial cooperation and participation in the implementation of infrastructure projects.

In particular, Belarus is ready to boost the delivery of potash fertilizers, equipment, foodstuffs to Vietnam. Vietnamese companies can take part in various projects in Belarus, including in the agricultural industry, manufacturing, and tourism.

“In this context, it is important to use the advantages of the free trade zone between Vietnam and Belarus which is a member state of the Eurasian Economic Union,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.

Speaking about Belarus’ presence on the Vietnamese market, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that important steps have been made in this direction. “Plans have been made launch the joint production of MAZ freight vehicles in Vietnam by the end of the year. We may also set up a new facility to produce city passenger buses in the future,” the President said.

Further mutually beneficial cooperation of the Belarusian manufacturer of quarry equipment BelAZ with the Vietnamese corporation Vinacomin and other companies will give an additional impetus to the development of the mining industry in Vietnam.

Belarusian specialists from various companies of Belarus may be hired to participate in infrastructure projects for building metro and tunnels, for developing oil resources and mineral resources in Vietnam. A representative office of the Minsk metro design company Minskmetroproject had already been opened in Vietnam. “Why don’t we design the metro stations Minskaya in Hanoi and Belorusskaya in Ho Chi Minh City?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.

“We have good experience and prospects for cooperation in military and technical affairs. We have discussed this in detail during our talks,” the head of state said.

The joint work of business associations of the two countries and the national chambers of commerce and industry should become a key element in the effort to strengthen the business ties. “In this context, the business forum and the national exhibition of Vietnam in Belarus can become important elements for establishing new business ties aimed at long-term joint work,” the President is convinced.

He also pointed out the importance of developing interregional ties. The experience of working with other countries shows that interregional ties are an effective tool for the development of humanitarian, cultural, trade and economic relations.

Cooperation in education, science, sports, and culture can bring the people of Belarus and Vietnam even closer together.

After the talks Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the major goal for Belarus and Vietnam for the next year or two will be the efforts to reach $0.5 billion in trade. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized a positive momentum in economic cooperation.

According to the President, the two countries are interested in implementing joint programs both in Vietnam and Belarus. This will help advance goods to the member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations and the Eurasian Economic Union. “We need to promote sustainable business ties, including between the chambers of commerce and industry, and associations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

On the whole, the two presidents discussed the whole range of the Belarusian-Vietnamese relations and prospects for them to enter a higher level. “Belarus considers Vietnam as one of the key partners in Southeast Asia. Years-long cooperation, mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations testify to the fact,” the head of state said.

Belarus and Vietnam have similar approaches to the majority of important issues on the international agenda. The two countries hold a regular parliamentary dialogue and exchange delegations at the governmental and regional levels.

After the talks the presidents signed a joint statement on the all-round and advanced development of partnership between the two countries.

The sides expressed satisfaction with the constructive nature and progressive development of the Belarusian-Vietnamese cooperation. They agreed to develop and deepen cooperation in transport machine building, agriculture, petrochemistry, light industry, information and banking technologies, electronics, mining, processing of sea and farm products, and other branches of the economy.

A number of bilateral documents on the development of cooperation in various fields were signed in the presence of the two leaders.

The head of state stressed that the package of documents, signed at the end of the talks including the presidents’ joint statement, is aimed at strengthening mutually beneficial partnership at different areas. Aleksandr Lukashenko is confident that the reached agreements will serve as a powerful additional impetus to the development of cooperation between the two countries.

Tran Dai Quang invited Aleksandr Lukashenko to visit Vietnam at any convenient time. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. Concrete terms of the visit will be harmonized. The presidents also exchanged gifts.