>>> Belarusian President begins Vietnam visit
Belarus has significant advantages in industry, agriculture, education, science and national defence, ranking third among the former Soviet Union republics in these fields. After gaining independence in 1991, Belarus began economic reforms and gained remarkable achievements. Belarus pursues a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, and diverse international relationships, it actively participates in activities within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States (SNG), the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the Asia-Europe Economic Alliance, and many other regional and international organisations.
Vietnam and Belarus have enjoyed a long-standing friendship and multi-faceted co-operation, inherited from the traditional Vietnam - Soviet Union relationship. The two countries maintain regular exchanges of high-ranking delegations, including the visit to Belarus made by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in November, 2014 and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in May, 2013. Belarusian President Lukashenko has made two official visits to Vietnam in the past in April, 1997 and April, 2008. In recent years, the two countries have signed several framework agreements, including the establishment of diplomatic, economic-trade cooperation, investment encouragement and protection, and IT and communications links. Belarus attaches great importance to promoting relations with Vietnam and considers Vietnam a reliable foreign partner. The two countries maintain close links and mutual support at the United Nations as well as other forums and international organisations.
Economic and trade ties have experienced stable growth. Two-way trade in the first eight months of this year hit US$95.8 million. Vietnam’s exports to Belarus include aquatic products, wooden products, textiles, footwear, rice, natural rubber, peanuts, cashews, tea, canned fruit and vegetables, pharmaceuticals and computers, while it imports fertilizer, machinery, automobile spare parts, trucks and chemicals from Belarus.
Regarding education and training, Belarus has helped Vietnam train officials and experts. Around 70 Vietnamese students are currently studying in Belarus. The two sides’ scientific and technological agencies have also effectively co-operated in a number of fields with positive outcomes. Regarding labour, there is great potential for Vietnam and Belarus to expand labour exchanges. An intergovernmental agreement on temporary employment for Vietnamese citizens in Belarus and Belarusian citizens in Vietnam went into effect in 2013, laying a legal basis for the two sides to expand their connection in the field.
Vietnamese people will always remember the warm sentiments and whole-hearted support it received from Belarus during its past struggles for independence and its current cause for national development and defence. At present, there are about 1,500 Vietnamese nationals living in Belarus. In December 2006, the Belarusian Government issued a decision which allows Vietnamese citizens who worked and studied in the country before 1992 to settle in Belarus.
The State visit to Vietnam made by Belarusian President A.Lukashenko is hoped to facilitate all-around co-operation between the two countries, meet the development needs of each country; strengthen political relations between leaders of the two countries and create favourable conditions to boost bilateral co-operation in various fields. The visit also aims to discuss measures to promote co-operation in the coming period, especially in the fields of economy and trade after the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasia Economic Union takes effect.