Minsk, Hanoi pleased with movement
By Alina Sharangovich
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Vietnam to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Dang Huy Tran, noted at the opening of a photo exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Belarusian-Vietnamese relations that our countries are connected by many years of friendship, dating from Soviet times.
A new era in our bilateral relations began on January 24th, 1992, when our two countries signed an agreement to establish diplomatic ties. In 1997, the embassy of Belarus in Hanoi opened, while the embassy of Vietnam in Minsk launched in November 2003. Mr. Dang Huy Tran believes that, over these two decades, our countries have achieved a great deal. Close contacts exist at the highest level and our mutual political trust grows ever stronger, ensuring support within international bodies such as the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement. We are steadily developing our co-operation in the spheres of economics, communications and transport, security, education and culture.
The Ambassador pointed out the importance of promoting trade and economic relations. Vietnam is a traditional trading partner for Belarus in Southeast Asia, with mutual trade rising considerably in recent years; it exceeded $200m in 2011.
Vietnam exports communication solutions, office equipment, sea products, rice, fruits, tea and coffee to Belarus, while our Republic sells potash fertilisers, truck assembly sets, tractors and rock haulers to Vietnam; it is one of the most important markets for the Belarusian Automobile Works, Minsk Tractor Works and Minsk Automobile Works.
Our intergovernmental and interparliamentary dialogue is vigorous, contributing to the expansion of legislation relating to Belarusian-Vietnamese co-operation. Our two countries have signed over 60 intergovernmental and interagency agreements. Meanwhile, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has twice visited Vietnam: in 1997 and 2008. In May 2010, the President of Vietnam, Nguyen Minh Triet, paid a visit to Belarus. A joint declaration was signed to define our stance on international matters and bilateral relations and confirmed our mission to continue building on co-operation.
In late 2011, a delegation of the Belarusian Government — led by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich — visited Vietnam, attending a Belarusian-Vietnamese Business Forum and signing new treaties and contracts for our two states’ enterprises. From November 30th-December 3rd, 2011, Belarus took part in the 9th International Vietnamexpo 2011 Trade Fair, hosted by Ho Chi Minh city.