|Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R) meets t with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.— VNA/ VNS\ Photo
MINSK (VNS)— Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who affirmed that Viet Nam is a strategic partner in Southeast Asia for Belarus.
At the meeting in Minsk, capital of Belarus, the two sides expressed their delight at the continued consolidation and development of ties between Viet Nam and Belarus, a trend reflected through regular visits of the two countries' high-ranking leaders.
The meeting saw the two leaders discuss co-operation directions in the time to come to further strengthen the traditional friendship between the two countries and increase the effectiveness of bilateral co-operation, especially in economics, trade and investment.
The two leaders also exchanged views on measures to raise two-way trade and investment, and agreed to speed up negotiations for the establishment of a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
To support businesses from both countries, the Government of Belarus will create preferential policies in credit and import-export insurance and consider lifting some administrative and taxation barriers. In the field of education, the country agreed to increase scholarships for Vietnamese students.
In terms of co-operation in the international arena, the two sides have been co-ordinating well within the frameworks of the United Nations, Non-aligned Movement and other international organisations and forums.
PM Dung expressed his gratitude for support from Belarus for Viet Nam's bid to stand for election to the UN Human Rights Council during the 2014-16 tenure, as well as its support for the Vietnamese community in Belarus.
President Lukashenko affirmed that Belarus will continue creating favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to help them promote their role as a bridge of friendship between Viet Nam and Belarus.
Earlier, PM Dung and his Belarusian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich visited the Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ) Plant, the largest of its kind in Belarus.
Viet Nam and Belarus signed a joint communique on the outcomes of Prime Minister Dung's visit to Belarus.
The communique says that the two Prime Ministers expressed their delight at the dynamic development of their high-level political dialogues based on friendship, mutual trust and respect. They also highly valued the maintenance of official exchanges and constructive traditional partnership between Viet Nam and Belarus.
The two sides agreed to actively continue exchanging high-level delegations to reflect political determination and create a driving force to further co-operation in politics, economics, trade, investment, national defence, security, science-technology, education-training, culture, tourism and sports.
Leaders of the two Governments advocated further improving the working efficiency of bilateral inter-governmental committees to develop co-operation in concrete realms.
The two leaders affirmed their determination to lift bilateral economic and trade ties to a new height to match the two nations' potential.
They reached a consensus on increasing Viet Nam's export of farm produce, seafood, rubber, garments, footwear and pharmaceuticals to ensure a bilateral trade balance.
The Belarusian side pledged all possible conditions to establish Viet Nam–Belarus joint-ventures based in the European country to process imports from Viet Nam, including coffee, tea and traditional medicines.
The Vietnamese side also vowed to make it easier for Belarusian-made fertiliser, tractors, agricultural machinery and tyres to enter Viet Nam, as well as to facilitate joint-venture projects on assembling products imported from Belarus and exploiting mineral mines in Viet Nam and other countries.
The two sides will also adopt measures to produce milk products using materials from Belarus in Viet Nam.
Both host and guest hailed the success of the first round of negotiations on the free trade area agreement between Viet Nam and the Union of Customs. They also expressed their willingness to step up the signing of the agreement.
Belarus and Viet Nam are willing to exchange experiences and bolster multifaceted co-operation in the international arena, including global and regional security issues, anti-terrorism and climate change, among others areas.
The two sides were unanimous on the United Nations' central and co-ordinating role in maintaining global security, accelerating socio-economic progress and coping with global threats and challenges including the fight against human trafficking.
The two sides agreed to actively co-ordinate in the international arena and protested against the politicisation of human rights.
They expressed support for the maintenance of peace and stability, maritime safety and security in the East Sea, and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law.
The Belarusian side also promised to create all possible favourable conditions for Vietnamese citizens living and working in the country in accordance with the country's laws.
Praise for Vietnamese
Also yesterday, PM Dung hailed the positive contributions of the Vietnamese community in Belarus to strengthening bilateral relations, saying that each of them is a bridge popularising Viet Nam and its culture and people.
While meeting with embassy staff, representatives of the Belarus–Viet Nam Friendship Association and the Vietnamese community in Belarus, Dung said he hoped the Vietnamese community would uphold the tradition of mutual support and contribute to strengthening the friendship between Viet Nam and Belarus.
He affirmed that the overseas Vietnamese community was an inseparable part of the nation, and an important resource for national development.
He also thanked the Belarusian side for its valuable support to Viet Nam during its national liberation in the past as well as its current national construction and development process.
The PM expressed his hope that the embassy's staff will overcome challenges and offer quality advice to the Party and State to bolster all-round links with Belarus while fulfilling their economic, diplomatic, cultural and community assistance missions. — VNS