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Opinions & Interviews

4 Sep 2018

Lukashenko: Belarus-Vietnam economic ties should be as good as political relations

Lukashenko: Belarus-Vietnam economic ties should be as good as political relations

MINSK, 4 September (BelTA) – Economic cooperation between Belarus and Vietnam should catch up with political relations, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador to Belarus Le Anh, BelTA has learned.

“Political relations, our diplomacy are far ahead of our trade and economic cooperation. Naturally, we need to make our trade and economic ties as good as political relations. We have everything in place for that. It is important that everything we produce in Belarus is in demand in Vietnam. Vietnam, in turn, manufactures a great number of products that we buy from foreign countries. We need to step up our efforts,” the head of state said.

“Vietnam is one of our highest foreign policy priorities. You are not strangers for us. You are kindred people. Together we fought for the sovereignty and independence of Vietnam; therefore, Soviet people have probably made some contribution to the prosperity that is taking shape in Vietnam and your today’s achievements,” the Belarusian leader said. The current relations are based on the foundation laid back in the Soviet times.

“I want to assure you and, please, convey it to Vietnam’s leadership that you cannot find better friends anywhere else in the world. We greatly appreciate Vietnam’s attitude to us, in particular, the attitude of Vietnam’s leadership. We will act accordingly. You will always find not just reliable partners in us – there is no question about it – but also close friends that are ready to lend a hand any minute to help much-suffered people of Vietnam live in prosperity,” the president noted.

Vietnam’s ambassador, in turn, underlined that the current leaders of Belarus and Vietnam are people of the same generation. Therefore, it is easy for them to understand each other and find common ground.

Belarus and Vietnam have developed a solid legal framework for the bilateral relations. The two countries signed over 85 interstate, intergovernmental and inter-agency agreements. The free trade area agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union member states and Vietnam as well as the Belarus-Vietnam intergovernmental protocol on promoting production of motor vehicles in Vietnam came into force in October 2016.

In 2017 the Belarus-Vietnam trade made up $135.3 million, with export standing at $76.3 million and import estimated at $59 million. Belarus had a $17.3 million in trade surplus.

In January-June 2018 the bilateral trade amounted to $63.1 million, with export standing at $38.8 million and import at $24.3 million. Belarus posted a positive trade surplus of $14.5 million.

Belarus’ major exports to Vietnam are potash fertilizers, trucks, tractors, dump trucks, tires, polyamides, special-purpose goods, engines, medicines, metalwork, meat and dairy products, alcoholic beverages.

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