State visit to Vietnam

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Belarus views Vietnam as one of the crucial partners in Southeast Asia, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the talks with Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang in Hanoi on 9 December.

“We are proud of the fact that our relations reach a new level of the deep mutually beneficial cooperation,” the Belarusian leader said. Both Belarus and Vietnam pursue the socially oriented policy aimed at improving the living standards of people. The positions of the two countries on the majority of issues on the international agenda absolutely correspond.

The President of Belarus believes that the two countries have huge reserves for the development of relations. First of all, this pertains to the trade and economy.

Aleksandr Lukashenko has been to Vietnam before. “I do not recognize Vietnam. It is rapidly changing. We are happy for you. And I even feel that I have come to a native place,” the Belarusian head of state stressed.

The President of Vietnam remarked that Belarus is committed to its way of development. “I am absolutely convinced that the Belarusian people will make new achievements in the social and economic development under your leadership. That will help improve the living standards of people and raise Belarus’ position in Europe and in the international arena,” Truong Tan Sang believes.

Belarus views Vietnam as a springboard in Southeast Asia which can be used to develop cooperation with other states in the region. “Vietnam is our strategic partner. Vietnam is our reliable friend in Southeast Asia, if you like, it is a springboard which we are ready to use to enhance cooperation with other states in the region,” the Belarusian head of state stressed.

The presidents discussed the entire spectrum of Belarus-Vietnam cooperation issues in detail. He pointed out the absence of disagreements between Belarus and Vietnam regarding the bilateral cooperation and the international agenda. The President of Belarus noted that the countries cooperate in the United Nations, the Non-Alignment Movement and on the most urgent issues on the agenda. “We have always supported each other and will act in the same regime in the future,” the Belarusian leader said.

The sides maintain solid intergovernmental and Interparliamentary contacts. The Belarusian head of state agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart that it is needed to step up the exchange of delegations at various levels in order to advance bilateral cooperation to a brand-new level.

Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed confidence that Belarus and Vietnam should deepen humanitarian cooperation, relations in culture, education, and sport. In his opinion, the countries have huge reserves for bolstering regional cooperation.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that Belarus-Vietnam trade turnover of $190 million is an insufficient figure considering the potentials of Belarus and Vietnam. The Belarusian leader noted that a number of contracts had already been signed during the current visit. They would help increase the volume of mutual trade. The Belarus President agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart that it is necessary to step up the level of the intergovernmental commission for the sake of raising the bilateral trade turnover to and over $0.5 billion within the next two years.

The Belarusian side suggested stepping up cooperation in petrochemical industry, automobile engineering, and in joint assembly enterprises in Vietnam. According to the Belarusian head of state, a good foundation has been created for that, bilateral documents have been signed as well as the agreement on the free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and Vietnam. Belarus and Vietnam agreed to step up efforts to bolster trade and investment, to ensure the trade balance.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is ready to take part in the surveying and extraction of mineral resources in Vietnam and is ready to supply the necessary equipment and machines for that. Apart from that, the negotiations touched upon the possibility of getting more Vietnamese economy and science specialists trained in Belarusian universities. “We will do our best in order to traditionally support education standards in Vietnam by allowing future scientists, physicists, IT specialists and other professionals study at Belarusian universities,” assured the Belarusian leader.

According to the Belarus President, the sides talked at length about defense and security matters. “We absolutely support the opinion in favor of advancing this cooperation. There are no forbidden topics concerning defense industry matters and we are going to maintain this view from now on,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

After the talks, the presidents of Belarus and Vietnam passed a joint statement on the strengthening and comprehensive development of relations between the countries. The sides signed documents in education and culture for 2016-2018. A number of documents were signed at the level of agencies.

The Belarusian head of state also met with GeneralSecretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong. Belarus and Vietnam need new ideas which will advance the two states to a higher level of development.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he remembers the visit of the General Secretary of the Communist Party to Belarus. “Our people have very much in common, the way of development of Vietnam is similar to ours,” the Belarusian leader said. He stressed that Belarus will soon hold the All-Belarus People’s Congress to determine the main guidelines of the country’s development for the next five-year period; Vietnam is gearing up for the 12th conference of the Communist Party to determine the priorities of development of the country. “We both need new ideas which will advance our countries to a higher level of development,” the Belarusian head of state believes.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that it is important for Belarus and Vietnam not to lose the existing level of cooperation.

Nguyen Phu Trong, in turn, expressed confidence that the visit of the Belarus President to Vietnam will give a new impetus to the bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the two sides.

Besides, Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Sinh Hung and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The Belarusian President also laid wreaths at the Monument to the Fallen Heroes and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi.