President Trần Đại Quang (r) receives Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
HÀ NỘI — President Trần Đại Quang expressed his delight at the development of the Việt Nam-Belarus friendship and co-operation in all fields as he hosted Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko in Hà Nội yesterday.
He expressed his pleasure at the effective implementation of agreements between the two countries, especially the Việt Nam-Eurasia Economic Union free trade agreement that became effective in late 2016, eliminating 90 per cent of tariffs and opening up new prospects in economic and trade ties between Belarus and Việt Nam.
President Quang stressed that Việt Nam hopes to receive more investment from Belarus, especially in automobile and automobile spare part production, chemicals and industrial equipment.
Việt Nam will back Belarusian firms to engage in urban railway construction projects and create conditions for Belarus’s industrial and engineering products to access Việt Nam, he pledged. President Quang said he hoped that the two sides will foster collaboration in defence, security and fighting crime.
The Vietnamese leader said he hopes the two countries will continue supporting each other at regional and international forums.
Semashko said that his visit aims to take a measure of the relationship’s achievements since the Việt Nam- Eurasia Economic Union free trade agreement took effect. He noted that he had working sessions with leaders of Hà Nội, ministries, sectors and localities to discuss ways to promote cooperation projects in transportation, food and pharmaceuticals.
The Vietnamese and Belarusian economies can supplement each other, which will contribute to the growth of both countries, he added.
Hà Nội was looking for support from Belarus to upgrade and modernise its bus system, the city chairman told the visiting Belarusian Deputy PM yesterday.
Hà Nội People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung said that the city planned to buy and replace between 700 and 1,000 buses by 2020, aiming to increase the rate of public bus use to between 20 and 22 per cent.
“This presents huge potential for co-operation between Hà Nội and auto makers from Belarus,” Chung said.
Hà Nội Transport and Services Corporation (Transerco) General Director Nguyễn Hoàng Trung said that the company last year bought 32 buses, including 80 and 60 seaters, from a Belarusian company. The Belarusian buses performed better than the older buses being used for public transport, Trung said.
But he added that the imported buses were significantly more expensive, costing about 25 to 40 per cent more than similar buses from other brands.
Chung told Semashko that the city was more than willing to buy more buses from Belarus, asking auto makers of the Eastern European country to work with Transerco on options to lower the bus prices.
Semashko agreed and promised to soon start talking with the Transerco. He also suggested Belarus may help Việt Nam build an auto assembling plant which might bring the bus costs down.
He added that Belarusian companies were also eager to further support Việt Nam in developing infrastructure, particularly the urban rail system. — VNS