|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (left) meets Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich yesterday in Belarus.— VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung
MINSK (VNS) — Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong discussed trade with Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich in Minsk yesterday during a two-day official visit.
Myasnikovich said the visit would create a new impulse for deeper traditional friendship and multi-faceted co-operation.
He said Belarus had high regard for Viet Nam's role in the region and the world,stating that cementing relations with Viet Nam was a priority in Belarus's foreign policy for the Asia-Pacific.
The Vietnamese Party leader and the Prime Minister said the 300 per cent rise in two-way trade in the past five years was still below potential.
They said the free-trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would pave the way for more export activity. The agreement could be initialled by the end of 2014 and signed early next year.
Myasnikovich said he would pay attention to ensuring Viet Nam's exports, especially farm products, seafood, apparel and footwear, to the Belarusian market was unhindered.
They also spoke of establishing joint ventures producing goods in Belarus.
Both leaders agreed to continue providing the best conditions for businesses to connect, firstly making it easier for the military-run Viettel group to invest in a telecommunication project in Belarus and other projects engaging in automobile and tractor manufacturing, coal exploitation and mining.
The Belarusian PM said his country would consider increasing scholarships for Vietnamese students, especially in the fields of culture, arts and defence.
The leaders agreed that co-operation in labour and vocational training was promising but needed to be accelerated.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of several co-operative documents between the Communist Party of Viet Nam Central Committee's Commission for External Relations and the Belarusian Presidential Office, the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications and the Belarusian Ministry of Information, and the central province of Quang Ngai and Belarus's Mogilov province.
Also yesterday, Trong met Chairman of the Council of the Republic of Belarusian National Assembly Anatoly N. Rubinov.
Viet Nam and Belarus issued a joint statement on strengthening their friendship during Trong's visit.
They agreed on ways to pave the way for accelerating co-operation in trade, investment, machinery manufacturing, agriculture, petrochemical technology, light industry, information technology, electronics and mining.
They agreed to study the possibility of launching a direct flight route between the two countries and granting visa exemption for short business trips.
The two sides said they were pleased with the negotiating of a free-trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, consenting to work harder for the signing in early 2015.
Belarus also supported the settlement of territorial disputes, including that in the East Sea, by peaceful means, and the early establishment of a Code of Conduct to safeguard maritime safety and security in compliance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
Viet Nam said it would back Belarusian bids to reinforce co-operation with Southeast Asian countries. — VNS