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Belarus and Vietnam to discuss global partnership strategy

During the official visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Alexander Lukashenko will hold a series of meetings. He will have negotiations with the Vietnamese President, the head of the Communist Party and the Vietnamese Prime Minister. The two countries are discussing mutual business interests today, December 8, at an economic forum. It is known that Vietnamese companies have signed with Belarusian partners contracts worth $25 million. Our reporter is now in Hanoi. Natalia Breus reports from Vietnam.

Natalia Breus, CTV:
These days in Hanoi are under the Belarusian flag. Since Soviet times, the Republic of Vietnam and Belarus have enjoyed close and friendly relations. Many leaders of Vietnam were educated in Soviet universities. It is also, of course, a good base for the development of economic relations. And Vietnam could become a bridgehead, which will help Belarus to gain a foothold here in the region.

Vietnam population is 90 million. Therefore, the total trade of the mere $170 million is not quite impressive. There is room to grow. Especially in industrial cooperation. A successful example is already in place. Despite the considerable distance between Belarus and Vietnam, 7,500 kilometers, Belarusian trucks have been assembled in that country since 2009. Nearly 1,000 kits have been delivered in the last two years. The Vietnamese are actively building roads and developing tourism infrastructure. The next step is the assembly of Belarusian buses in Ho Chi Minh City (and possibly dump trucks). The question is being studied. Belarus would also like to deliver jointly-made products to the markets of ASEAN. 

Vladimir Semashko, deputy premier of Belarus:
The Eurasian Economic Union signed with Vietnam a free trade agreement in May. This will boost supplies to ASEAN region. This is a multimillion market.

The Belarusian side is planning to increase the supply of tractors - the relevant contract is set to be signed. The tractor producer MTZ considers the Vietnamese market promising. The equipment is important for the agrarian sector, because Vietnam is the second largest supplier of rice and coffee in the world. Meetings of business circles contribute to the development of relations. The countries are going to enter into more than a dozen cooperation agreements.

Over the past 6 years, businessmen of the two countries have communicated almost every year in the framework of various business forums. Today Vietnam is increasingly perceived as a new Asian tiger. The economy of the state is developing at a decent pace. The country has joined the World Trade Organization, attracted investment from global corporations that created assembly plants here and is vigorously developing its own industry and agriculture. 

However, it is also said that modern Vietnam has plunged into capitalism not getting rid of socialism: the Communist Party is still playing an important role in political life. 

Belarus and Vietnam to discuss global partnership strategy