Viet Nam News
On January 22, 2019, the Republic of Belarus celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Belarusian diplomatic service; the day also marks the 27th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Việt Nam. Belarusian ambassador to Việt Nam Vladimir Goshin wrote to Việt Nam News:
On the occasion of such significant events, on January 22, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam H.E. Mr Vladimir Goshin held a friendly meeting inviting distinguished guests from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Việt Nam, the Administration of the President, the National Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as heads of diplomatic missions of the CIS states accredited in Việt Nam.
The history of Belarusian diplomacy can be counted from time of the ninth to 13th centuries when Polotsk, Turovsky, Pinsky and other principalities came into existence on the territory of present-day Belarus.
However, the starting point of the Belarusian institution’s modern history coincides with the very first mention of the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belorussia (SFA SSRB) in the press. A short article was published in the newspaper Zvyazda on January 22, 1919, which stated that “the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs started functioning” and was located in Minsk city.
At that time, only 12 people had been working at the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. Diplomats were engaged not only in foreign policy, but also in foreign economic issues. The first diplomatic mission of the young Belarusian Soviet state was opened in Moscow on March 24, 1921. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received its modern name in the year 1946.
The President of the Republic of Belarus, H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, officially approved January 22 as the Diplomat’s Day of the Republic of Belarus. This decision was made on October 17, 2018. Official heraldic symbols of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, lapel badges of the diplomatic service and special uniforms of the Belarusian diplomats were instituted.
Ambassador Vladimir Goshin (left) shakes hand with the Assistant Foreign Minister of Việt Nam Tô Anh Dũng in a friendly meeting at the Embassy of Belarus in Hà Nội on January 22, 2019. — Photo courtesy of the Embassy
It should be noted there are outstanding diplomats – people from Belarus who left a bright mark on the modern history of Belarusian diplomacy and became an example of high professionalism and dedication to following the principles of national interests. They are Mr. Vsevolod Falsky, Chairman of the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Andrey Gromyko, legendary USSR Foreign Minister and prominent ministers of the BSSR Mr. Kuzma Venediktovich Kiselyov and Mr. Anatoly Gurinovich.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus today is a young and creative ministry, in which interested, intelligent and highly educated personnel works, capable of solving the most complicated tasks.
Belarus maintains diplomatic relations with 177 countries and is represented today by foreign offices in 59 countries worldwide. In 2014, Belarus established embassies in Australia, Qatar, Mongolia, Pakistan and Ecuador, in 2016, Georgia and Spain, and recently the Embassy of Belarus fully restored its operations in Sweden.
Diplomatic relations between Belarus and Việt Nam were established on January 24, 1992, when the modern history of bilateral co-operation began. Starting from that period, a high level of political dialogue has been achieved with a friendly-to-Belarus Việt Nam, but the trade and economic collaboration do not correspond to the growing potential of bilateral co-operation. Nowadays, it’s essential to concentrate on ensuring the growth of mutual trade as well as implementation of joint projects in industry, petro-chemistry, construction, education and information technology sectors.
Currently, a significant advantage for the organisation of efficient trade between Belarus and Việt Nam has been created: a functioning Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and Việt Nam, which opens new horizons for supplying products not only to the markets of Belarus and Việt Nam, but also to neighbouring countries within the framework of Eurasian integration as well as the ASEAN countries. The economies of Belarus and Việt Nam are complementary, which makes it possible to move from simple trade to joint industrial co-operation.
It’s time to move from simple trade to industrial co-operation as a means for combining the capabilities of the two countries, as well as technology and capital into modern joint ventures for the production of high-tech and competitive products on the territory of both countries. In the short term, Belarus and Việt Nam face the task of a significant increase in mutual trade, designated by the Presidents of the two countries. Only by joint efforts can striking, practical results be achieved.