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Nguyen Phu Trong has visited Minsk

Future co-operation seen as a positive benefit for both states

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Socialistic Republic of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, has visited Minsk
By Vladimir Kharitonov

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Socialistic Republic of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, has visited Minsk

Alexander Lukashenko and Nguyen Phu Trong during their meeting in Minsk
Alexander Lukashenko and Nguyen Phu Trong during their meeting in Minsk

In its president, parliament and government, Vietnam has the political structure in place for all the workings of a republic. The current Constitution dictates that the head of the Communist Party determines the leadership of the country; it’s the General Secretary that is considered to be the head of state. The President of Belarus met this important guest.

It has been easy for the two states to build a trustworthy relationship, facilitated by the historical legacy of the USSR. The Soviet Union supported Vietnam in its struggle for independence, and students from there studied in the Soviet Union, including in Belarus. The Vietnamese remember this and appreciate the assistance they have had. It has led to their openness in developing a co-operative relationship and hopes of future links between the two countries. The aims of both governments in collaborating are to stimulate the development of the two countries and benefit each nation.

Mr. Lukashenko emphasised that Vietnam’s influence is constantly growing on the regional and global markets. The two countries have similar approaches to the topical issues of international politics whilst co-operating within the framework of international organisations.

“We see many untapped opportunities to further enhance our partnership. Particularly in the trading sphere,” said the Head of State. Belarusian companies are capable of considerably increasing the shipment of Belarusian machines to the Vietnamese market, primarily agricultural machines and automobiles.

The President stressed that in trade relations, Belarus is prepared to use modern economic devices such as leasing, export loans and insurance. The implementation of joint large-scale projects will give serious impetus to the development of relations between Belarus and Vietnam.

The Head of the Belarusian state emphasised that Belarus has accumulated huge experience in the design and construction of complex facilities, in the development of infrastructure and the modernisation of agriculture. In his opinion, Belarus has made considerable achievements in the energy sector and other areas. “We are ready to share this experience with our Vietnamese friends,” noted Mr. Lukashenko. He believes that industrial co-operation is a promising development in Belarus-Vietnam links.

MAZ vehicles are already assembled in Vietnam. In addition to the project to upgrade the passenger bus fleet in Vietnam, the President of Belarus suggested a joint venture to produce passenger vehicles there too.

In turn, Belarus is also keen to encourage the activity of Vietnamese corporations on the Belarusian market. For example, such companies as Viettel could be involved in various investment projects in Belarus. A joint venture to process Vietnamese coffee has already been launched in the Minsk District. Mr. Lukashenko underlined that the products made as part of such projects sell well in Eurasian Economic Union markets.

“Belarus hopes that Vietnam will become a springboard for us to promote our economic interests in the Southeast Asian region,” said the President.

The Head of State stressed the importance of developing economic relations with Vietnam across all sectors. According to him, in the present circumstances Belarus and Vietnam should promote co-operation not only in education but also in science and technology. The President noted that co-operation in the field of education between the countries has been traditional since the time of the Soviet Union. About 100 Vietnamese students study in Belarus every year. Mr. Lukashenko proposed an increase in the number of Vietnamese students in Belarusian universities. Belarus is able to train professionals in various fields in accordance with the needs of Vietnam. The President is also considering an increase in the work of the joint Belarusian-Vietnamese centre created jointly with the academies of science from both countries for the development of new technology, tools and mechanical engineering.

The General Secretary called the negotiations successful. He felt they were organised in an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding. “We’ve discussed a wide range of bilateral relations which are of mutual interest and have agreed on issues that will further strengthen mutually beneficial ties.”

He reinforced that all present at the negotiations were keen to stress the efficiency of recent Belarusian-Vietnamese contacts whilst noting the huge potential for expansion of Belarusian-Vietnamese cooperation.

Nguyen Phu Trong revealed that an agreement has been reached during the meeting with the President of Belarus on the expansion of ties between the parliaments, governments and public organisations of the two countries. There is an intention to enhance the role of the Belarusian-Vietnamese intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technological co-operation. The two sides have agreed to create favourable conditions for strengthening ties between these enterprises, to facilitate the mutual expansion of supplies of goods and services in each other’s markets and to increase trade turnover.

The General Secretary further expressed confidence that his visit to Minsk would give new impetus to the development of friendship and collaboration with Belarus. He also expressed gratitude to the Belarusian people for their assistance and support during the liberation of Vietnam, as well as for their current co-operation, particularly where economics and trade are concerned.

After the negotiations, the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, and the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong signed a joint resolution to advance friendship and relations through comprehensive Belarusian-Vietnamese co-operation. The two nations have agreed to step up the positive political dialogue at all levels for issues of bilateral relations, as well as regional and international problems. They have agreed to increase the exchange of trade delegations whilst continuing to enhance the legal basis of the bilateral co-operation agreement. Both Belarus and Vietnam see huge potential for developing further links and have agreed to facilitate favourable conditions for the advancement of relations in the areas of trade, economy and investment, in such fields as machine building, agriculture, petrochemicals, light industry, IT, electronics and the extraction of mineral resources.

During his stay in Minsk, Mr. Phu Trong invited the Belarusian President to visit Vietnam. Mr. Lukashenko accepted the invitation and promised to visit Hanoi in 2015.
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